7News Spotlight: Sept 25

This Sunday, two stories: one on IVF failures and the other on brain injuries in AFL.

7News Spotlight is almost back to its predecessor Sunday Night this weekend, with two stories: one on IVF failures and the other on brain injuries in AFL.

They are a couple who approached IVF not as a last resort, but as the first step in their parenting journey.

Fast forward two years, six rounds, 10 transfers, two chemical pregnancies, countless injections and repeated heartache, Suzie and Laura Francis-Mathers were still unable to conceive.

In an explosive 7NEWS Spotlight investigation airing at 8.40pm this Sunday on Channel 7 and 7plus, Michael Usher takes viewers behind the scenes and into the life of a couple who fell victim to one of the nation’s greatest IVF travesties.

The shocking truth about Melbourne-based Monash IVF’s failings and how the country’s top fertility specialists unintentionally destroyed viable embryos due to flawed genetic screening will be made public in this Australian television exclusive.

Just when all hope was lost, Suzie and Laura defied odds in a moving twist, with both now carrying miracle babies.

Then, Spotlight’s continuing investigation into the biggest issue in Australian Sport sees AFL veterans Shaun Smith and Travis Varcoe share their life-changing, first-hand experiences of brain injury linked to the sport and offer a stark warning for the next wave of potential victims.

Speaking out in full for the first time to Michael Usher, former Melbourne and North Melbourne great Shaun details the emotional turmoil he went through as a result of the concussion injuries he suffered throughout his career.

In a heart-wrenching admission, Shaun explains how the game he loved not only cost him his marriage, but very nearly his life.

In a warning to the rising number of women now powering into punishing elite sports – and the kids striving to be like their idols – American neuroscientist Chris Nowinski calls on Australia to wake up before it’s too late.

With evidence increasingly suggesting women may be more vulnerable to brain injury, he tells Usher: “I’m all for equal opportunity, but equal opportunity for brain disease is not a prize.”

With Australia in the grip of grand finals fever, this compelling report is a timely reminder that our sporting heroes are not invincible and more needs to be done to protect our athletes.

8:40pm Sunday on Seven.

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