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'I trusted them': Patients left in limbo after fertility clinic closes

Sydney Price said she doesn't know what to do after a fertility clinic where she's been receiving treatment for years abruptly closed its doors.
'I trusted them': Patients left in limbo after fertility clinic closes
Posted at 2:43 PM, Apr 09, 2024

Dozens of Tennessee women trying to get pregnant no longer have a fertility clinic to go to.

The Center for Reproductive Health in Nashville abruptly shut down at the end of last week. On Thursday, the staff received a letter reading in part: "Unforeseen circumstances have led to a financial deficit. Regrettably, you will not receive your paychecks tomorrow."

Sydney Price had an appointment on Friday, where she was told by a receptionist the clinic was "bankrupt." 

"I trusted them with my family. I trusted them with my mental health because that's huge when you're going through this," she told Scripps News Nashville.

Price and her husband Austin McDowell said they can't wait to become parents again. They have two daughters, and as a result of in vitro fertilization treatments, they have three female embryos too.

For the past two years, the couple has driven 45 miles to the Center for Reproductive Health for fertility treatments.

"With shots and hormones and schedules and driving — it's been a handful," said McDowell.

The couple has paid more than $37,000 out of pocket to the clinic run by Dr. Jaime Vasquez. The fertility specialist is well known and has seen thousands of women since opening his clinic in 1995. He's also never faced major disciplinary action.

"I've really been blindsided and I really hope he understands how that has made me feel," Price said.

SEE MORE: Unborn: The fight over reproductive rights in America

Because Scripps News correspondent Hannah McDonald knew the couple was planning to have an embryo transfer at the end of April, she tracked down the number for an embryologist who works at the clinic. She wanted to reassure patients that all specimens are still being taken care of around the clock. But Price still doesn't know if her transfer will happen.

"I'm having to feel grief almost," she said. "I'm grieving the plans that I had made. I am grieving the life that I thought I was going to have this summer."

Late Monday afternoon, Dr. Vasquez returned our call. He said he is consulting with a health care attorney and will talk to Scripps News Nashville after that.

This story was originally published by Hannah McDonald at Scripps News Nashville.

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