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UAMS Fertility Center gives new hope to Arkansans | Families

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UAMS Fertility Center gives new hope to Arkansans
Families, Health, News
UAMS Fertility Center gives new hope to Arkansans

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Infertility issues can be devastating for couples hoping to start a family, but there's new hope in Central Arkansas now that UAMS has reinvented its women's health center.

"I think there is a lot of misconception about fertility that if you go to a fertility doctor, you're going to have 8 or 10 babies or something," said 32-year-old Shanna McKeller. "But that's not necessarily the case."

All Shanna McKeller and her husband Jason ever wanted was one baby.

"After three years of trying, we finally got pregnant and we lost that baby," McKeller said.

Two years and two miscarriages later, the couple went from doctor to doctor, looking for a solution.

"A lot of doctors don't give you answers so we just wanted answers as to what we needed to do," she said.

But just before they were ready to give up, they met Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis. The reproductive endocrinology specialist joined UAMS last year, bringing nearly twenty years of experience from New Orleans to Little Rock.

"It provides access to patients who would not ordinarily have access," Richard-Davis said.

Before she arrived, many of her patients were traveling all the way to Tulsa and Dallas to find state-of-the-art help.

"I think it's a combination of the compassion and attention to details that I bring to the practice, along with a wealth of years of clinical," Richard-Davis said. "Oftentimes what happens is it's so stressful and it's so draining, we have couples who stop. Stop short of success. Because they just stop trying."

So under Dr. Richard-Davis, the McKellers gave it one more shot.

"We decided to try one more time and we had success," McKeller said.

Stella Marie McKeller was born in May 2014. Just three months old now– but many years in the making.

"She was as excited or more excited than we were to find out we were pregnant," McKeller said of Richard-Davis.

And quite possibly that's because the struggle was close to home for the doctor.

"I had recurrent miscarriages, so I had five miscarriages before actually successfully having my kids," Richard-Davis said. "And that was a 10 year journey."

Her 15-year-old twins are the product of her persistence. Her secret is not giving up when plan A or B just aren't working.

"When you've had losses you're also very scared," she said. "Until you see that baby. To me this is the sweet smell of success."

Families, Health, News