Neil Coward and Nicola Morris, a couple from Wymondham, Norwich, have been navigating the IVF system for the past seven years
Now, they have turned to fundraising in order to keep their dream of having a family alive.
They have faced countless hurdles and exhausted their holiday allotment in order to secure successful IVF treatment, and postponed getting married in order to put every penny towards parenthood. They are now crowdfunding for their ‘last chance’ at conception. Nicola’s diagnosis of severe endometriosis has left the couple, together for 13 years, unable to conceive naturally.
Endometriosis leaves the sufferer in extreme pain, as the tissues that normally grow inside of the uterus begin to grow in other parts of the body
Each month, they cramp and bleed, just as the walls of the uterus do. Nicola, 33, has undergone three laparoscopy operations, and has had her left ovary and both fallopian tubes removed.
Neil, 38, told the Eastern Daily Press, “We want to give IVF another go as we feel we deserve to be a happy family and have the baby that will complete us. We haven’t been lucky yet. We will get there.”
He continued, voicing a sentiment to which many couples dealing with infertility can certainly relate. “I never dreamed when I was 30 that eight years later we would be in this position and we would be going through it. We will carry on until we have nothing left in us. Until we have seen where this is going and we have done everything, regardless of the result the wedding will be the next thing.”
The couple, who are engaged, received NHS funding for three IVF treatments when they were still living in Essex
At this point, the fertility treatments were postponed while Nicola was diagnosed and treated for her endometriosis. They then underwent 2 cycles of IVF that failed.
When the couple moved to Norfolk in 2017, they received the devastating news that there was no funding available in the South Norfolk area. The couple were heartbroken and shocked, and wrote to the local Clinical Commission Group (CCG). The CCG told them that fertility treatments were only approved for ‘exceptional circumstances.’
Nicola expressed a sentiment familiar to women struggling to conceive
When she sees children, “I do feel happy for them but at the same time my heart jumping out of my chest and being stamped on.” Nicola and Neil feel strongly that couples going through IVF treatment need to be strong for each other. “As much as it does take over your lives, you have to stop it from taking over because that’s when it becomes obsessive. It’s hard on both of us. We do not talk about that and we try and be positive about it. We understand what the other is going through, we are both going through it.”
Since starting their crowdfunding page, they have raised more than £1,500 of their £11K target.
Are you in the same situation as Nicola and Neil? If in the UK, have you been unable to receive fertility treatment due to the NHS postcode lottery? Would you like to share your story? We would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media @ivfbabble
Read more about the UK’s NHS postcode lottery here