PNWF IS A SCAM! My husband and I chose PNWF in Seattle based on user reviews. Bad Choice. I'll start with the lesser
First, in August of 2012, we went for IVF treatment with Dr. Lora Shahine. Our assigned coordinator, Melinda Lloyd was a total flake. She consistently made errors with appointment dates and times, even the ones she herself had scheduled, and she even calculated the days of my cycle wrong and cost us an extra $600 in non-returnable Follistem injections.
After the first attempt at IVF failed, Dr. Shahine recommended Donor Eggs as the most effective next step. We agreed and chose to proceed before the cut-off for procedures came at the end of the year.
Apparently, because we were open to the concept of donor eggs so quickly, we were then told to go to their suggested therapist and pay $300 for a report stating that we were mentally OK to proceed with donor eggs. Gee, make me feel like a loony-bird. We contacted the therapist and she stated that she doesn't usually do consults for donor eggs but more unusual cases like surrogacy. We told Dr. Shahine we were not going to do therapy. So, moving on.
We selected a donor from their website and couldn't have been more excited at having found an amazing match for donor eggs. We were instructed by Stephanie Frickleton (Head of Donor Egg Division) to hurry and sign forms to secure those eggs and make sure no-one else selected them and have them removed from the donor egg website. After frantically rushing to sign and fax the forms, everything seemed perfect.
Two weeks later, at 5pm on a Thursday, Stephanie sent an email to us. Note: not a phone call as anyone would have preferred for bad news.
Direct quote inserted:
"The Lab notified me that they needed to use all the eggs for Donor #XXX for the first recipients. There are no remaining eggs frozen on #XXX. You will need to choose another set of eggs. We have added several new sets of eggs on the www.pnwfeggbank.com site. Please take the weekend to choose. I will be in the office on Monday afternoon. I am sorry I know you connected with this particular donor.
Stephanie Frickleton "
Wow, such heartfelt words received at the end to the day with no-one to call and ask questions of until the following week. Obviously, we were devastated. All the plans we had made went down the toilet, because as we perused the donor egg site again, there were no new additions in our genetic area, and the remaining four choices were not good matches for us at all.
We called Friday morning and demanded that someone return our call and explain to us- Who could have possibly used eggs that we had secured as our own? Well, Stephanie called us back from her home phone and was clearly not pleased that she had to do so. She stated that whoever had originally paid for the donor cycle had first pick of the eggs and we got whatever was left over. That the original purchasers needed all the eggs and that was that.
WHAT?! Original purchasers? In all of our paperwork and meetings, no-one ever once indicated that these eggs were someone else's and that we were buying leftovers. In answer to our shock and horror, Stephanie tried to placate us with "This has only ever happened once before!" So my question is, Why did we just pay $18,000 for Donor Eggs if someone else paid for the donor cycle???
Well, there is no answer to that. So I informed her that at that moment, I did not wish to continue doing business with PNWF. I hung up the phone with Stephanie and immediately called the office to stop-payment on the balance due we had just submitted, only to find out that Stephanie had called from her house and told the finance office to shred my payment before I could even talk to anyone else.
Weeks went by, we left numerous messages for our doctor, our new coordinator, for the office administrator, no-one ever called us back. It's January 2013 now, and not once has anyone tried to contact us except the receptionist who forwarded our medical records via email so we could go to a new doctor.
Upon receiving our records, we looked at the comments inserted by Stephanie. She put things into words to make us seem like we were insane and that she was the innocent only doing her job. She did not indicate the omission of truth on her behalf about the true nature of the donor egg program, or her nasty demeanor on the phone when she called. So, now we go to a new doctor and they always see the insulting comments on our records from Stephanie.
Also - one more very disturbing thing I encountered at PNWF: On the day of my egg retrieval, I walked into the ladies room and saw a Lab Technician flushing a stainless steel pan of BLOOD DOWN THE TOILET.
I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do that. I will never recommend this facility to anyone, ever.