'Sperm mixup' lawsuit trial begins - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

6.24.04

'Sperm mixup' lawsuit trial begins

Kelly Chambliss Kelly Chambliss

Kelly Chambliss spent Wednesday in court, a day as emotional as it was eagerly awaited. She's trying to explain to a jury about the day she thought she was going to die. A terrifying story she first shared with News 6 four months ago.

"It was the worst day of my life," Chambliss said as she wiped away tears. "They took unwashed, left over, what they call 'garbage sperm', and they shot that into my uterus."

Two years ago, Chambliss and her partner went to a Wilmington fertility clinic to get pregnant. She was injected with two day old sperm that was never tested or cleaned. Chambliss is suing the clinic and nurse practitioner, Julie Ramsey, for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.

"I have no idea what happened to my body," Chambliss said. "Everyone just kind of guesses - they think it will be okay."

Ramsey also testified Wednesday. She's been a nurse for 40 years, and says she made reasonable assumptions that, unfortunately, were wrong.

The head of the clinic also apologized right after the mistake was revealed.

"This was a horrible mistake," says Dr Bill McMillan, director of AHEC. "But we have learned from it. I think we now have more stringent protocol that will better protect our patients."

Chambliss says that isn't enough. She has since adopted a child, vowing to never try artificial insemination again.

"The whole entire procedure of them just throwing garbage into my uterus, and then having to go through the tailspin, of going through all those tests is degrading, and disgusting, and no human being should ever have to go through it," Chambliss said.

Now a jury of six men and six women will decide how much money her pain is worth.

Chambliss will take the stand again Thursday morning. Lawyers from both sides hope to present their closing arguments on Friday. Stay tuned to News 6 for the latest on this historic trial.

Reported By Nicole Konkal

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