Leiston couple thank NHS for miracle IVF baby funding

A Suffolk couple who waited 20 years to achieve their dream of having a family have spoken of the importance of NHS funding for fertility treatment.

Andy and Kelly Bryenton say Grace Hope is their “miracle baby” – and has completely transformed their lives.

Grace Hope, now three, is one of more than 2,000 babies to have been born following NHS-funded fertility treatment at Bourn Hall, the world’s first IVF clinic.

The clinic, which has just had its NHS contract renewed, has service clinics in Cambridge, Colchester and Norwich and has operated in the region for five years.

Mrs Bryenton, from Leiston, said: “We know we were lucky to get NHS funding.

“It made all the difference to us being able to have a family and we are eternally grateful to everyone at Bourn Hall who helped make our dreams come true.”

After many years of trying for a family, Mrs Bryenton, 43, and her husband Andy, 46, decided to opt for IVF just over four years ago.

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She said: “I was due to take the pregnancy test on my mum’s birthday, October 16, but I was too nervous, so I naughtily took it two days early.

“I didn’t want to spoil my mum’s birthday if it was another negative, but, amazingly we got our first ever positive pregnancy test!

“It was the best news ever; I screamed with excitement yet knew we still had a long way to go until we held him or her in our arms.”

Grace Hope Bryenton was born weighing 8lb 3oz on June 22, 2011.

Mrs Bryenton said: “We thought long and hard about what we would call our miracle.

“We named her ‘Grace’ after the fertility goddess and for gracing us with her presence and ‘Hope’ because we never gave up!

“Grace completes the world for us and is everything we ever wanted. It showed us that miracles can happen.”

Dr Mike Macnamee, chief executive for Bourn Hall Clinic, said the renewed contract announcement follows months of uncertainty.

He said: “Our success rates have improved significantly over the last five years and about 50% of our NHS funded patients now get pregnant on their first cycle of treatment.

“Our continuing contract with the NHS not only makes IVF more accessible but also allows us to invest in new technologies and approaches that will drive up success rates and enable more people to have families of their own.”

Under the new NHS contract each of the 19 Clinical Commissioning Groups will decide its own eligibility criteria and the number of cycles of treatment it will offer.

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