A woman who was desperate to have children was killed by her IVF treatment – just weeks after the joy of falling pregnant.
Emma Draper, 26, had been trying for a baby for two years with husband Peter before turning to fertility treatment on the recommendation of her GP.
But just two weeks into her treatment she suffered from chest pains and died in hospital two weeks later of thrombosis which caused multiple organ failure.
Tests later revealed her death was triggered by complications with medication Emma was taking for a pre-existing blood condition.
Her devastated widow Peter, 33, claims they were never warned of the danger and is now taking legal action against the hospital involved.
He said: “When she died, I kissed her on the forehead and said ‘I love you so much. I always will’.
“I felt as if my life had ended too – I didn’t want to live without my Emma.”
The couple began IVF treatment at Bart’s Hospital in London in June 2010 after struggling to conceive, even after Emma lost five stone in a bid to improve their chances.
She received an embryo transfer on June 11 and the couple were over the moon when a pregnancy test came back positive 14 days later.
Emma has suffered all her life with anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), which makes the blood prone to dangerous clotting.
Since suffering a clot in her lung in 2001 she was placed on the anticoagulant drug warfarin, which is known to have a damaging effect on a developing foetus.
So she was switched to a heparin drug – which is considered safer – for the duration of her pregnancy.
Her family claim she was never warned that complications in IVF can prove fatal in sufferers of APS.
Warfarin and heparin are both anticoagulant drugs, which prevent the blood from forming artery-clogging clots, but the heparin Emma was given was not as effective as her Warfarin prescription at thinning her blood.
Just four days after the positive pregnancy test the former personal shopper was admitted to specialist heart hospital Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.
She slipped into a coma, her legs turned blue and she suffered a massive stroke, which left doctors no choice but to turn off her life support machine on July 10, 2010.
An inquest in February 2011 ruled that a combination of antiphospholipid syndrome and IVF meant Emma developed the very rare catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome – a chance of less than one in 100.
The coroner at Poplar Coroner’s Court ruled: “Emma Louise Draper died from Natural Causes, which presented as a rare complication of pre-existing disease and fertility treatment.”
Peter, a van driver from Dagenham, Essex, is still coming to terms with the death of his sweetheart and is now launching legal proceedings against the doctors involved.
He added: “I can’t help feeling angry.
“Blood specialists warned us there was a risk of clotting from changing Emma’s medication, but nobody told us that IVF could be life-threatening.
“It’s meant to be something that brings life into this world, not takes it away.
“Emma was sensible – she would never have had IVF if she’d known that there was a chance she might die.
“We would have adopted.”
Bart’s Hospital offered their condolences to Peter after the death of his beloved.
In a statement, the hospital said: “This is a tragic case and our thoughts are with the Draper family at this difficult time.
“An inquest held in February 2011 found that Emma died from natural causes, which presented as a rare complication of pre-existing disease and fertility treatment.”
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