Gilbert couple paid $18,000 for a medical procedure and ended up with nothing

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A newlywed couple was excited to be starting a family, but now they're starting out $18,000 in the hole.

David and Tracey Barno recently celebrated their wedding.

The couple was excited to start a new chapter in their lives, and although Tracey already has three children from a previous marriage, she and David were looking forward to having more kids.

"God blessed me to allow me to marry my wife who already has three beautiful children that I've been so blessed to be part of their life.  I just want to have a child that is part of me as well," said David. "We decided to move forward with IVF because I do have my tubes tied."

IVF is In Vitro Fertilization, a medical procedure in which eggs are fertilized by sperm outside the body and then put into to the woman's uterus.

Tracey and David went to a fertility center called Arizona Reproductive Medicine Specialists. or ARMS, and it wasn't a cheap procedure.
"$18,130 I believe is what the total ended up being," said Tracey.

Tracey and David said they were given promising results.

“At the beginning they told us 'you're a great candidate', they did all the counts on me and her to make sure we were ok and they did it and they came out saying A+ on everything," said David.

Tracey said the $18,000 procedure went fine, up until the point where the embryo was to be transferred to her uterus.

"Received a phone call from not even my nurse, not even my doctor, nobody that I had ever talked to before, very rudely, 'just wanted to call to let you know that you won't be having a transfer, sorry, you might want to get a hold of your doctor and find out what the next step is," Tracey recalled.

Tracey and David said they were mortified by an expensive procedure that already paid for, but not completed. And getting answers, they claim was impossible.
"And then you make phone calls to the facility and they don't return them," said Tracey.

Tracey said they even walked into the clinic to demand an explanation.

"He said we don't have those answers, and if you want those answers you have to hire somebody to do the examination of the embryos," remarked Tracey.

Disappointed the procedure wasn't completed, Tracey and David thought they should at least get some of their $18,000 back.

"I believe we should get half back, we did half the process and we turned around without anything," said Tracey.

3 On Your Side contacted Arizona Reproductive Medicine Specialists, which didn't want to speak to us on camera.

However, on the phone two representatives told us there is never a guarantee with the procedure, and that in Tracey's case the embryos just unfortunately stopped growing and could not be transferred.

They also said Tracey was offered a more expensive program package that includes additional attempts as well as a partial money back guarantee, but said Tracey declined that option.    

However, after our involvement, Tracey and David said they received an $1,800 check from Arizona Reproductive Medicine Specialists. But the couple said the amount is insulting for what they have gone through and said they still have more questions than answers.
“I need someone to explain to me what went wrong, why we were A+ through the whole process and then at the very end you have nothing," said David.

David and Tracey said they did actually sit down and meet with the clinic, but claim the meeting did not go very well.

They remain optimistic another clinic might be able to help them out.