Barrington couple's IVF heartbreak prompts family to start petition against cuts by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG
PUBLISHED: 11:56 21 September 2017
A young woman from Barrington trying to conceive her first child has been left heartbroken after a decision to suspend routinely commissioning fertility services until April 2019 - and her mum has now started a petition against the move.
This month’s decision by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clincial Commissioning Group – which covers Royston and South Cambs as well as Cambridgeshire as a whole – followed a public consultation over the summer to help save £46.5 million this financial year.
Couples who have already been referred for specialist fertility services will still receive one cycle of IVF as per the previous policy.
Haidee Brooker, 23, who has been married to 23-year-old apprentice engineer Tom for two years and planned to start a family, was told she’d find it extremely difficult to have children without IVF due to severe endometriosis.
The condition, where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found in other parts of the body, is believed to affect one in every 10 women.
Haidee told the Crow: “IVF was our next step. I went to the doctors six months ago and they put me forward for the initial blood tests, but because we weren’t in the system, we won’t be able to get the treatment now due to the cuts.
“I was in absolute agony every month, and had an operation last year to remove cysts from my ovaries, when the surgeons went in they discovered the endometriosis.
“When I woke up, they said I would find it very hard to conceive without intervention – so I was dealt the devastating blow of potentially not being able to have a family of my own.
“There are many women and men worse off than me, but we thought IVF would be an option – something we could have that could give us a better chance of having a family.
“I’m now annoyed at myself that I didn’t get the ball rolling sooner, as I’d be in the system now, and could probably still have treatment.”
Barrington Primary School play leader Haidee has her mum Dulcie, gran Susan and twin Josie living in the village.
When they found out the CCG’s decision, Haidee said they were all devastated.
“My mum said I was born to be a mum, and Tom and I want it more than anything,” she said.
“I feel a huge pressure to give my family a little baby – my mum a grandchildren, my nan a great grandchild, and make my sister an auntie. We are so family orientated and having a family of my own is everything to me.”
Mum Dulcie, 47, started the petition in a bid to make the CCG to scrap the cuts – which has already gained more than 5,000 signatures.
“I’m so proud my mum has started this petition, because we are standing up for what we believe in,” said Haidee.
“And we’re doing it for every family going through this. We’ve had so many messages on the petition from women who are struggling.”
Dulcie said: “My daughter and her husband have been trying for a baby for nearly three years, and it is such a stress for them because Haidee’s condition means she may not be able to conceive.
“It’s not her fault she has this condition, she didn’t ask for it, and she needs help so I wasted no time in starting this petition.
We’ve been amazed watching the number of signatures go up. We had 50, then 100 then it started going crazy.
“We’ve messages and signatures from as far as Australia, because something like this can affect anyone wherever you are.
“We’re just a normal family, and people who don’t know us have taken the choice away from Haidee. She doesn’t have a choice in having the endometriosis, and now she can’t have IVF.
“You have a right to be a parent, and I know what a wonderful mum Haidee would be and how desperately she wants this.”
Speaking of what’s next for her and Tom, Haidee said: “Tom and I are now staring into space trying to figure out what we need to do next, because we haven’t got this treatment and I will do anything in my power to have a little baby in my life.
“We urge everyone to sign the petition. I know there are people worse off than me, and we’re doing it for everyone struggling, because it’s about making our voices heard.”