Katalin Dempsey is a native of Hungary, but moved to Ireland with her husband Oliver prior to the birth of their daughter Emily. The couple intended to bank Emily’s umbilical cord blood at the time of delivery, but finding a hospital within Ireland willing to collect the sample was surprisingly challenging.

Katalin was especially surprised when National Maternity Hospital, the Dublin medical centre where she was scheduled to give birth, refused to collect her coming daughter’s cord blood. Families in Hungary routinely bank their children’s cord blood, and Katalin considered returning to Hungary for the birth if the hospital was unwilling to collect the cord blood.

“You never know what might happen in the future. Emily’s stem cells could be used to help her future siblings, or even her parents, so I felt it was very important – the question was why not do it?”

Well into her third trimester, Katalin knew that realistically, she was unable to travel back to Hungary. Oliver learned that the Mount Carmel Hospital, which was also located in Dublin, collected cord blood but the hospital suddenly closed its doors earlier in the year.

Eventually the family found cord blood collection specialists at Rotunda Private Hospital, but the couple had to make specific arrangements to ensure the collection occurred. The Dempseys felt hospitals should be unable to block parents’ attempts to bank their children’s cord blood as parents have the right to choose what is in the best interests of their babies.

Thankfully the arrangements were worked out in time for Emily’s birth on March 10. Katalin and Oliver welcomed their new baby girl to the world, and were relieved to have her cord blood banked – and within storage in England.

More information about the Dempseys experience is available by following the link here.