Shelley - Interview 17

Age at interview: 37

Brief outline: Shelley has a history of complications in pregnancy and lost her first two babies. She is grateful for the care at a special unit for high risk pregnancies, so she was very willing to take part in biobanking research there.

Background: Shelley is married with two children. She is a full-time mother. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

Audio & video

In her first pregnancy in 2001, Shelley developed severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome (Haemolytic anaemia, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelet count). As a result she also experienced placental abruption and lost her first baby. In her second pregnancy she had moved to another part of the country and was referred to a specialist unit for high risk pregnancies so she could be monitored closely for signs of preeclampsia. Unfortunately she developed different complications and also lost the second baby. However, the quality of care they had received at the unit was so good that she and her husband decided they would try again, knowing that the unit would be there for them. She feels if the unit hadn’t been there, they would probably not have had the confidence to try again. She now has 2 healthy children, born in 2006 and 2010.

Because Shelley feels so much gratitude and trust in the high risk pregnancy unit, it was an easy decision to make when she was asked if she would take part in a pregnancy research biobank. There was very little involved for her, mainly giving extra blood and urine samples when she was attending hospital anyway for an appointment. The fact that the professor who had cared for her in her third pregnancy was leading the research was particularly persuasive for her. She trusts the staff to treat the samples appropriately and use them for whatever research is necessary. If they choose to share the samples with other research teams she trusts their judgement on that.
Shelley has mixed feelings about other kinds of medical research, especially if it is invasive or involves personal risk (and even more so if it involved any potential risk to an unborn baby), but recognises it is necessary to test things, including in animals and in human beings. But donating samples is so easy to do she almost feels it should be something routine that people expect to take part in.


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