Couple rebuilding family years after losing 3 children in landslide

2016/12/16 16:40:50
CNA file photo; Chen Chen-jung (right) and his wife Cheng Hsiu-chen (center)

CNA file photo; Chen Chen-jung (right) and his wife Cheng Hsiu-chen (center)

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) A couple who lost their three children in a devastating landslide in southern Taiwan six years ago now have six-week old twins and is hoping to have a third child later with the help of advanced in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology.

Chen Chen-jung (陳振榮), 51, and his 44-year wife Cheng Hsiu-chen (鄭秀珍) on Friday held a celebration to welcome their twin sons, after years of reproductive treatments.

The couple's two other sons and a daughter, ages 15, 14 and 10, respectively, died on Aug. 9, 2009, when a massive landslide buried their mountain village in Kaohsiung during a typhoon.

The three children and Chen's mother were among the 462 people killed in Xiaolin Village in the mountainous Jiasian District when Typhoon Morakot struck.

At the time, the couple was visiting Chen's father in Namaxia District north of Jiasian and thus escaped the Xiaolin disaster.

Determined to restart a family, Chen and Cheng embarked about a year later on a long journey of reproduction treatment that included artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to a report in the United Daily News.

After six failed attempts, the couple in 2015 turned to Lee Mao-sheng (李茂盛), a Taichung-based specialist in the field of reproductive medicine, the report said.

Using advanced IVF technology, Lee eventually managed to produce three healthy embryos from the couple's eggs and sperm and he implanted two in Cheng's womb and put the third into storage, according to the report.

The procedure was a success and Cheng gave birth to twin boys on Oct. 29 at Lee's clinic, the report said.

"They now have a chance to have three children again because the third embryo is in storage," Lee told the newspaper in May after it became clear that Cheng's pregnancy was progressing well.

On Friday, the couple cut a cake to celebrate the birth of the twins six weeks ago, and a group of Xiaolin Village survivors joined the celebrations.

Holding one of twins, Chen said with a smile that he was grateful to his wife for the devotion and determination that she showed and to Lee for helping to make their dream come true, according to the report.

(By Elizabeth Hsu)
ENDITEM/pc


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