Florida Fertility Doctor Refuses To Evacuate For The Best Reason

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Huge numbers of Florida residents are packing up and evacuating Hurricane Irma’s path. It would be crazy not to leave considering that Irma has the potential to become a “catastrophic” hurricane.

You can call him crazy all you like, but one man has decided to weather the storm and stay put for a very heroic reason. Dr. Armando Hernandez-Rey, 46, is a reproductive endocrinologist stationed in Coral Gables, Florida. His clinic, Conceptions Florida, has been a vital part of the Miami-Dade County community. Hernandez-Rey has helped hundreds of families that have struggled to conceive by doing over 400 in vitro fertillization cycles. These procedures are time sensitive and can cost upwards of $12,400, so Irma definitely puts a wrench in these cycles.

Despite neighbors and clients leaving to evacuate left and right, Hernandez-Rey had other worries concerning the hurricane. During the evacuation he received a number of calls checking in with the status of their eggs, sperm and embryos during the storm. One woman, a physician and friend of Hernandez-Rey, called about her embryo. According to the Huffington Post, she suffered from “a history of pregnancy loss from chromosomal abnormalities, and has just one genetically normal embryo stored with the clinic.”

The clinic is equipped with a powerful generator and is stocked with tanks of liquid nitrogen. According to Hernandez-Rey, the liquid nitrogen should be able to keep all the samples frozen for up to two weeks, ensuring their safety and viability. The building is also fitted with hurricane-impact windows and surrounded with sandbags, however he still held some doubts.

“But anything can happen. I just didn’t feel comfortable leaving with the possibility that something could go wrong,” Hernandez-Rey told the Huffington Post. “We’ve got so many [samples] stored. We’re affiliated with the cancer center, so we have probably about three or four samples from men who are about to start chemotherapy. They stored with us to preserve their fertility. If we lose that, they’ve got none left.”

Hernandez-Rey remains fiercely optimistic despite the harrowing circumstances. It takes a lot of wits to take the worst case scenarios into account, but it takes even more courage to stay behind to prevent them from happening.

  • Related TopicsNews Hurricane Irma
    Lillie Mae GauranoCOLLEGECANDY Writer
    A writer by day and a reader by night, and if you say the words "free" and "food" together I'm there.
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