The Fertility Institute’s 200th Baby Welcomes Twins 32 Years Later

The Fertility Institute’s 200th Baby Welcomes Twins 32 Years Later

Nobody could have predicted how much the field of fertility treatment would advance from 1988 when Leta Fletcher conceived her daughter with FINO’s pioneering help to now, when that daughter would give birth to twins

New Orleans (November 29, 2022) – As Leta Fletcher crawled out from the wreckage of her crashed vehicle – 27 weeks pregnant with the child she had struggled seven years to conceive – she thought her dreams of having a family were shattered. Little did she know the baby inside of her was not only alive but carried perfectly healthy eggs that would become Leta’s twin grandchildren 32 years down the road.

Julie Mincey, Leta’s daughter, was conceived with help from the medical pioneers at The Fertility Institute of New Orleans (FINO) in 1989 through a gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), a precursor to in vitro fertilization (IVF). She was born, bruised but healthy, 11 weeks after her mother experienced a head-on collision. As Julie grew older, she longed for a family of her own.

“It’s amazing how far we have come with reproductive science since Leta was our patient,” says Dr. Jay Huber, FINO medical director.

“While the GIFT procedure was cutting-edge technology in the ’80s and had a 10%-20% success rate with high chances of twins, we now have IVF with success rates as high as 50%-60% in some cases. And we now have the ability to perform elective single embryo transfer, which significantly reduces the risk of becoming pregnant with multiples.”

Back in the ’80s, Leta had experienced two miscarriages and had undergone surgery for endometriosis before she and her husband, John Fletcher, finally decided to visit the fertility specialists at FINO. They discovered that in addition to Leta’s endometriosis, there was likely a hormonal imbalance that could be contributing to her miscarriages.

In February of 1988 Leta underwent the GIFT procedure at FINO in hopes of having a successful pregnancy. The procedure removes a patient’s eggs, combines them with sperm, then immediately places them in the fallopian tubes where the eggs are fertilized. It worked, but around the tenth week of Leta’s pregnancy an ultrasound showed there was no heartbeat.

Leta had been on so many medications that her body had begun to grow cysts where her follicles should have grown. FINO doctors performed surgery to remove Leta’s cysts, and in the fall Leta underwent another GIFT procedure. This time, despite a horrible car accident, she gave birth to daughter Julie.

Julie entered the world in style. She was the 200th baby to be born with help from FINO and received a black-tie party at the Crowne Plaza. Doctors from across America came to celebrate her birth. A special brick with Julie’s name and the number “200” was placed in the French Quarter leading up to the aquarium.

After everything Leta and John endured to have Julie, this extravagant celebration of her birth was more than earned.

Thirty-two years later, it all came full circle when Julie became pregnant. She is thankful her mother took action with her fertility, ultimately leading to the birth of Julie’s daughters Fletcher Ann and June. Julie says the twins will grow up knowing the story of their grandmother’s fighting spirit and FINO’s dedication to building Leta’s family.