Written by Toby Crockford
22 January 2017
Meet the man who gives women hope of having a family, when other specialists said nothing more could be done and all seemed lost.
This is just another day at the office for Monash IVF specialist Dr Kee Ong, who has been responsible for 10 sets of twins in his nine years on the Gold Coast.
Dr Ong’s interest in IVF started in high school when he learnt of the science behind the second chance for women who couldn’t conceive naturally.
“It was just something that inspired me,” he said.
“At the end of the day it’s all about the families; it is quite devastating when you see people not being able to have children when for most people it’s God’s given gift.”
Dr Ong said IVF treatment was not about numbers, it was all about trying to get to the end point as quickly and seamlessly as possible, due to the emotional toll it took on patients.
He said age was also a big factor in the chances of success. If someone was 30 years old and had good embryos, there was a success rate of 35-50 per cent. Whereas a 45-year-old patients would have about a 1 per cent chance.
One of the most important parts of being an IVF specialist is being honest.
“When you try everything and just can’t get across the line, you have to be honest with your patient,” Dr Ong said.
“You give them hope, but at the same time you have to be very realistic with them.
To celebrate his nine-year career south of Brisbane, former patients Kristie Miller and Joni-Lee James organised for 20 families with over 30 babies, including 10 sets of twins, to gather and show their appreciation for Dr Ong.
It also coincided with the baptism of Ms James’ twin girls Jolene Leilanei and Henley Constance, who turned four months old on Saturday.
Ms James was told by other specialists that at 37 years old, she couldn’t have children using her own eggs after several rounds of IVF.
She sought a second opinion through Dr Ong and after seven IVF cycles over nine months she fell pregnant and gave birth to twins in January 2016.
“He’s not just a fertility specialist, he’s a special person and maintains relationships with ladies when they leave – a very special man,” she said.
Ms James had spent about $60,000 but said the end result was worth it.
“I’m living my dream right now.”