Kerala woman delivers twins from frozen embryo, a year after husband's death

Sudhakaran and Shilna [file] and their twin girls [right] | Onmanorama Sudhakaran and Shilna [file] and their twin girls [right] | Onmanorama

The world came crashing down for banker Shilna when a road accident proved fatal for her husband K.V. Sudhakaran on August 15 last year in Kerala. But a year later, Shilna is cradling her twins—born with the help of her deceased husband's stored semen—at a hospital in Kerala's Kannur district. 

Shilna battled societal resistance and went ahead with her wish to conceive from her late husband, giving birth to the twin babies after articial insemination making use of an embryo stored at a cryobank. The embryo was fertilised during the couple's IVF treatment before Sudhakaran's death. 

The bitter-sweet incident happened a year and 29 days after writer-lecturer Sudhakaran died in a road accident, widowing Shilna, a bank manager in Kannur. Sudhakaran, 38, was set to travel to Kozhikode after a teachers’ camp at Nilambur in Malappuram district. He was crossing the road, when a tipper lorry hit him.

Sudhakaran, who had been an activist and a journalist, married Shilna following a love affair. The couple were undergoing fertility treatment since 2014. In 2016, and again a year later, Shilna had conceived through IVF, but the pregnancies did not last for long. Then came the death news of Sudhakaran, who had been working as a Malayalam lecturer at Government Brennen College in Thalassery.

Once she recovered from the emotional shock, Shilna expressed her desire to try once more to conceive Sudhakaran’s children. Not everyone was pleased with her idea though. However, Shilna received support from her family. An expert team, led by Dr Shyjus Nair, led the treatment, at the ARMC clinic in Kozhikode. 

On Thursday, Shilna delivered the twins through a C-section at Koyili hospital at Kannur. The twins are healthy and weigh 2.3 kg and 2.5 kg. The mother and the two baby girls are healthy and fine.