Susie Kozisek, a 53-year old mother of four, ages 20 to 30, gave birth to her own twin granddaughters, Hallee and Hadlee, carrying them to term for her daughter Ashley Larkin. This is the second time Kozisek acted as a surrogate for Ashley, who has pulmonary hypertension and is unable to get pregnant. She previously gave birth to another granddaughter, Harper, in June 2011.
Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that occurs when capillaries in the lungs become narrowed, blocked or destroyed, making it harder for blood to flow through them. As a result of the building pressure, the right ventricle of the heart has to work harder, causing the heart muscle to weaken and eventually fail. Although there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension treatments are available that can help lessen symptoms and improve quality of life for patients.
As the gestational carrier for the twins, Kozisek was implanted with embryos created from eggs and sperm are harvested from the biological parents and united through in vitro fertilization. The vitro fertilization that resulted in the twins was performed at the Mayo Clinic October 2010 and were kept in storage there until November 2012, when they were implanted in Kozisek's uterus in November 2012.
"I heard about the procedure on a talk show and decided to check out the possibility of me doing this for them so they could have kids of their own if they wanted," she stated.
"I've always been close with my mom even before this so that hasn't changed and I'm grateful she will have such a special bond with her grandkids," exclaimed Larkin, who was with her in the delivery room.