Following nine miscarriages and 17 years of marriage, a couple from Georgia, Eastern Europe, finally has become parents thanks to Israel’s thorough treatment. Michael and Tamari Berikashvili of Tbilisi, Georgia, last week miraculously welcomed their beautiful daughter Mariam into the world.
Following almost two decades of the heartbreak resulting from an inability to carry their repeated pregnancies to term, doctors in Georgia advised the couple to consult with specialists at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel. For them, such a move was not considered extreme, given their desperation to become parents and the glimmer of hope that the Holy Land could offer.
The Berikashvilis traveled across the continent to meet with Prof. Benjamin Brenner, Rambam’s director of the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Institute and the head of the hospital’s coagulation unit.
The meeting, for which they had travelled so far, was an eye opening experience, Michael said. “We came to Rambam to check the reason for our repeated miscarriages. For many years, we did not know what the problem was, but the tests given by Prof. Brenner found that Tamari has a condition called Hematologic Hypercoagulability,” he explained.
This condition, also known as Thrombophilia, is common among women who have recurring miscarriages. Dr. Brenner and researchers at Rambam’s coagulation unit found the link between repeated miscarriages and Thrombophilia, and have determined an effective treatment for the prevention of these miscarriages.
Physicians are able to diagnose Thrombophilia with a simple blood test, but the Berikashvilis did not have access to this procedure in Georgia. Once diagnosed, Tamari was given proper medication and became pregnant for the tenth time. Because of the risk involved with such a pregnancy, the couple returned to Israel after 13 weeks gestation, rented an apartment in Ramat Gan and frequently visited Rambam for consultations with Prof. Ido Solt, the director of Rambam’s special unit for high-risk pregnancies.
“After a couple goes through so much to become parents, everything intensifies,” said Prof. Solt, “Throughout the months of observation and prenatal checks, there were many emotions, pressures and fears, but once we saw that the pregnancy was developing normally, we all started to enjoy this amazing experience.”
“It’s not easy to go through all this when we were between Israel and Georgia, ” Tamari admitted,” but we waited seventeen years together, and I was ready to do everything to become a mom. We made sure to talk to and update our family in Georgia constantly. Meanwhile, the hospital staff was with us all the time and helped us through the process. ”
When the couple left Rambam on July 7, they were escorted by nurses and physicians who had been involved with their treatment throughout the pregnancy, culminating in little Mariam’s birth. The couple said that Rambam has become their second home after developing a strong connection to all those who gave them such dedicated care. Expressing hope, the Berikashvilis plan to visit the gynecology and hematology staffs next year, with Mariam and perhaps another blessing.