If it’s meant to be, it will be
Kevin and Donna Dudley’s nine years of marriage has been filled with an ectopic pregnancy, fertility difficulties, and a cancer diagnosis. Yet, they have three gorgeous children.
Kevin (43) and Donna Dudley (38) live in Gauteng with their three children: Dylan (6), Leila (3) and Mathew (1).
Donna had an unfortunate ectopic pregnancy in 2014. “It was quite scary as the doctor had missed it. She unfortunately ruptured and started bleeding internally, causing her to lose her right fallopian tube. After Donna lost her right fallopian tube, we had to go on a series of treatments and have numerous scans,” Kevin explains.
At the end of 2015, Kevin was diagnosed with testicular cancer. “I had a dull ache in my left testis for a few days. A few days later, I felt an uncomfortable hardening in my right testicle. Donna came home that evening and I asked her to check. We decided that I needed to seek an urgent consult the very next day. I saw my GP initially, however, he requested an urgent consult with a urologist who then confirmed testicular cancer.”
Obviously, this was a big setback in Kevin and Donna starting their family, but little did they know that they had miraculously fell pregnant. Donna was three months pregnant with Dylan when Kevin was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Kevin underwent an urgent radical orchiectomy of the affected testicle.
Kevin can’t recall if sperm banking was brought up by the treating doctor before going for surgery. “It probably was but at that time because Donna was pregnant we didn’t think further than that. However, I do feel now it should have been done as we didn’t realise that the orchiectomy could cause my sperm to begin fighting themselves which obviously caused a low sperm count. If more focus was given to the banking of my sperm, it would have saved Donna and I less hardship for our next pregnancy.”
Baby number two
After the orchiectomy, Kevin and Donna struggled to fall pregnant, as they had both lost essential reproductive organs. Kevin explains, “Our second pregnancy was the real challenge. There was much heartache as we were both basically labelled infertile. Our gynae, after a few months of trying regular fertility medication, scans and tests, suggested we go to a fertility clinic. It was a tough and emotional decision, especially for Donna. But with support from family and special friends, we decided it was basically our last resort.”
Kevin was put onto medication to increase his sperm. There was also talk of a possibly operation due to the formation of varicose veins in his left testicle which was further contributing to the loss of sperm. Varicose veins increase blood flow to that region which increases the temperature of the testicle which then destroys sperm.
Donna had to take various amounts of medication and injections and had to undergo many scans. After almost a year of not conceiving, the couple were told their next option would be in vitro fertilisation (IVF), a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm in vitro.
Since this was a big decision to make, both morally and financially, Kevin and Donna asked for time to think it through. Once again, a beautiful surprise was on its way. Donna had fallen pregnant with help of the last round of medication.
“It was an absolute shock to both of us as we felt the last round had been a disaster and had already given up on the thought of conceiving,” Kevin says.
Baby number three
“With regards to our third little man; he was an absolute surprise as we weren’t even trying. We only found out at three months of the pregnancy and my urologist asked if Donna had an affair as it was impossible that we could have conceived naturally.”
When asked about the joy of having three miracle children, Kevin and Donna respond, “Besides the lack of sleep, our lives have changed for the better in every way. We are blessed.”
MEET OUR EDITOR – Laurelle Williams
Laurelle is the Editor at Word for Word Media and graduated from AFDA with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Live Performance. She have a love for storytelling and sharing emotions through the power of words. Her aim is to educate, encourage and most of all show there is always hope. Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org