A soldier who lost his sight, his legs and his reproductive organs when he was blown up by a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan has just become a father for the first time thanks to revolutionary treatment.
As reported by the Mail Online, Shaun Stocker was just 19-years-old when he stepped on the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Helmand Province in April 2010 as he was serving with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, the Royal Welsh regiment.
Because of his life-threatening injuries, doctors feared he would never be able to conceive a child but, six years on, Shaun’s son Theo was born on Christmas Day.
After the blast, Shaun was put into an induced coma to help his chances of survival and recovery. Doctors acted quickly and used a revolutionary new technique known as sperm salvage which meant Shaun could one day become a father.
Although Shaun lost his testicles in the explosion, doctors were able to take healthy sperm from a tube called the vas deferens, which is located deep within the body.
His fiancée, Persia Haghighi, then became pregnant after one course of IVF.
The pioneering technique was developed by Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown and colleagues at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and as a tribute to the quick-thinking doctors, the Wrexham couple gave Theo the middle name Jackson.
— persia haghighi (@persia_h) December 31, 2015
Speaking to the Mail, Persia said:
We couldn’t believe it. To be able to have a baby at all after everything Shaun has been through felt like a miracle in itself, but to be told our baby was due on Christmas Day felt even more poignant. In the run-up to Christmas, I don’t think either of us thought it would actually happen on Christmas Day itself because due dates are rarely precise.
That was such a proud moment. I’m so proud of Persia. She was brilliant. Theo is the son I never thought I’d be able to have and it is all because of the brilliance of Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown. For me personally, Theo’s arrival marks the conclusion of my rehabilitation.
What an incredible story. Congratulations to Shaun and Persia!