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Family thanks doctors for 'blizzard baby'

Pre-holiday storm last year nearly curtailed time-sensitive fertility procedure

MADISON, Wis. - 23598484

A Middleton family is celebrating their first Christmas with their baby thanks to what they said was above and beyond the call of duty by doctors at the UW Generations Clinic.

A year ago Friday a pre-holiday storm dropped 20 inches of snow on the Madison area, making travel difficult and knocking out power to thousands residents. And while the typical occupations that have to work through snowstorms are mail carriers, police, firefighters, reporters and snow plow drivers, doctors at the Generations Clinic joined those ranks in 2012 as they joined forces to deliver a "blizzard baby."

Julie Chang and Tony Chang set out on the journey to have a baby in early December of 2012 and needed to have an egg harvest done on Dec. 20th. Generations staff informed them of the impending storm and suggested they may want to stay at the hotel across the street.

"Sure enough snow was coming down very heavily, so by morning there were just huge drifts in the parking lot," recalled Julie Chang.

The Changs discovered they weren't the only ones staying at the hotel.

Dr. Christina Broadwell said there was a window of just hours to perform the procedure, so she and other staff members stayed as well.

"The entire hospital was shut down so we had to sort of make an appeal to say that we had to have our clinic open that day in order to perform that procedure," said Broadwell. "I think it was the first time in my career I've ever had to do that."

Five days later, doctors once again opened the clinic to implant baby Chang on Christmas Day. Nine months later the Changs got their gift: on Sep. 23rd they welcomed Matthias into the world.

Matthias Chang adds a fourth stocking to the Chang mantle, joining Natalie Chang, Corrinne Chang and David Chang, the children the Changs adopted before attempting fertility treatments.

"With each of our children we have very unique adventures and misadventures that happened with each of their adoptions," said Julie Chang. "So when all of this happened with the snowstorm and Christmas Day, that seemed right on track with our family experience."

As Matthias Chang prepares to experience his first major snowfall, the Changs said they're thankful for a staff that went above and beyond.

"I want to emphasize how grateful we are," said Julie Chang. "Not just with the medical treatment but literally there were nursing staff out there helping us dig our car out from the hotel after the procedure."

"I think I can see how it can feel [above and beyond] at times, but other times it just seems so very natural that that is of course what we would do because you can't sacrifice that much work and that much time when there's that much on the line," said Broadwell. "You have to do what you have to do to make that happen."

The Changs said this Christmas they're incredibly thankful.

"The whole experience of the pregnancy was just really just such a miracle and we are extremely grateful for this opportunity," said Julie Chang.

While Broadwell said they hadn't done anything like this before, they're watching the weather again this weekend. They have three embryo implantations scheduled for Sunday.

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