Houston woman offers to be surrogate for family struggling with infertility but COVID-19 complicates process

HOUSTON – One Indiana family struggling with infertility has been given a ray of hope when a woman in Houston offered to have their baby.

Jerrica Pryor and Mike Constable were overjoyed with surprise twins, before tragedy struck.

“At 17 weeks we lost them,” Jerrica Pryor said. “I went in and out of the hospital two times. I had hemorrhaging, I almost died a couple of times. Then we had to do a partial hysterectomy.”

The emergency surgery meant heartbreak for the family.

“It was hard enough losing the babies, but losing the ability to ever have children again was really tough,” Jerrica Pryor said.

She said she has a son from a previous relationship but was hoping to expand her family with her husband. Kelsey Seybold Doctor Steffanie Campbell is married to one of Mike’s fraternity brothers. She had never met Jerrica, but followed their story on social media.

Doctor steps in to help

“This tragedy happened to him and I heard about it last summer,” Dr. Campbell said.

Dr. Campbell said she felt a calling to carry the couple’s baby.

“I sort of sat and thought about it and thought it’s one of those things I’m supposed to do. Like I was supposed to join the military, I was supposed to go to medical school, I was supposed to marry my husband - I was supposed to work at Kelsey Seybold, now I’m supposed to have a baby," Dr. Campbell explained.

“It was an amazing thing, completely unexpected, especially since she had never met Jerrika,” Mike Constable said.

“I feel like I have two wonderful kids. I have been blessed with an amazing life. I have a job I love, a husband who adores me - why would I not want to make sure that someone else has that family unit?“ Dr. Campbell said. "I want to see him look at his little child with admiration and adoration just like my husband looks at our girls.”

COVID-19 adds complications

But the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the process down as fertility clinics were shut down for several weeks. That’s been detrimental to this journey for several reasons.

“I wanted to do it when it was safe, but I wanted to do it as soon as possible,” Dr. Campbell said. “It’s been far more complicated than I imagined it would be."

Steffanie is 43-years-old, so every delay adds to the possibility that she might not be able to help.

“I’m already considered geriatric in the maternal world,” she said while laughing.

Surrogacy Next Steps

The first implantation happened two weeks ago and it did not take. But they say they’ll try again and even if it doesn’t work the couple says they’ve already gained a lot.

“I would just say, we have hope,” Jerrica Pryor said.

“With all the stuff going on now it’s good to know there are good people out there and there are good things happening," Mike Constable added.