Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center Help High School Sweethearts Produce a Miracle

Jennifer and Jason Schiraldi, high school sweethearts married for nine years, went to the Cleveland clinic in 2009 and produced what they believe a miracle named Kenley. Kenley’s mom described it as better than hitting the lottery.

“It was better than hitting the lottery,” said Jennifer. “This never happens.”

The theory of freezing a single sperm has been around for decades, but found difficulty in obtaining a container for properly freezing small amounts of sperm made this procedure hypothetical.

Doctor Nina Desai, director of the IVF laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic Fertility Center, developed a way to store tiny amounts of sperm in a straw like vessel as thin as a sewing needle, for a single-sperm freezing technique and later used in an intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI.

Dr. Desai was optimistic at first, and states, “It was like a shot in the dark”. Explaining, “People don’t usually get pregnant when they have only one egg.”

Despite the odds, Kenley Karlin Schiraldi was born April 2011. It was more than a miracle for Jason Schiraldi, the proud father of Kenley states, “Miracle is not a large enough word to describe it”. Also adding, “Of all the fascinating and amazing things we do in the health care field, it’s amazing that this happened to us.”

Jason also encourages other couples never to give up for there are people out there with a solution.

“People think once you’re stuck, you’re stuck,” he said. “But there are people who can make wonderful things happen.”

"I've been working on single-sperm freezing for a long time," said Dr. Nina Desai, "I'm always looking to find better ways."

Dr. Desai and her colleagues at the fertility clinic plan to use the freezing technique for men with few to no sperm count and continue to help other couples.

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Photo by Chris Langer /

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