"No-one should have their right to be a parent taken away" - couple start petiton after IVF funding is cut

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 21 August 2019

Chris, Donna and Ronnie

Chris, Donna and Ronnie

Archant

A couple, who had their baby after fertility treatment has started a petition to bring back IVF funding for the county, after the decision was made to cut it last month.

Childhood sweethearts Donna and Chris Young had been trying to have a baby for 10 years but, after four miscarriages, they thought they were not destined to be parents.

Chris, who met Donna whilst at school in St Ives, has said that the decision is "totally unfair" and will "take away peoples dreams of parenthood".

The 36 year oldsaid: "For us, if it was six months the other way, we might not have our son, who means the world to us. It really is a postcode lottery for couples, and is totally unfair."

The couple, grew up in St Ives but have now moved to Manea say that this decision is going to "change lives" and "needs to be thinked about again".

The decision taken by the governing board of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) at a meeting last month to indefinitely suspend NHS funded IVF treatment in a bid to save money.

It is expected to save £700,000 a year, less than one per cent of the CCG's deficit and which by no means represents the significant human cost of the decision. This is despite the Government's commitment to an increase of £20 billion in real terms funding for the NHS by 2023/24.

Previously, couples in the county can apply for one round of treatment on the NHS, if aged between 23 and 42 and they meet all the necessary eligibility criteria.

Chris said that he and Donna, aged 32, decided to start the petition as they were worried that other couples may not get the same help that they had got.

Chris said: "I completely understand that this can cost a lot of money, but even if they offered one round of treatment it would be enough. I know that it is such a long process and without that light at the end of the tunnel, I wouldn't know where we would be."

The couple's journey to have a baby started when Donna was 21, and the couple were surprised to learn that she had become pregnant unexpectedly.

However, Donna a HR administrator who works in Huntingdon, had an a miscarriage leaving the couple "devastated".

Donna then went to her GP but were told it was "something that was pretty common". It wasn't until the fourth miscarriage that the pair thought there was something seriously wrong.

Following tests Donna was told there was a possibility she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common condition that can impact fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage. She was also urged by doctors to make some lifestyle changes.

After losing two stone, Donna was eventually referred to Bourn Hall - a fertility clinic - in December and, within the space of nine weeks, she found out that the treatment had worked.

Specialists at the clinic took six of Donna's eggs, all of them were injected and it was found that five of them were successful.

Ronnie was born on December 18, 2015, after a 25-hour labour and he spent three days in the special care baby unit after a forceps delivery.

"He really is our little miracle. Everyday we remember how lucky we are, and I don't want that right to be taken away from someone else. No-one should have their right to be a parent taken away from them," said Chris.

"All we want is for people to stop and think about this. So many people are affected by this, and I can't believe that you can just take that right away from them. We are very lucky to have our little boy, but who knows, if it was a couple of months later, we might have not been able to."

To sign the petition visit: https://www.change.org/p/nhs-bring-back-the-nhs-ivf-funding-to-cambridgeshie

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