KIND-HEARTED friends have launched a fundraising drive to help a couple, who face never being able to have a child, get one final attempt at IVF.

Erika Hume and Louis Wright-Booth, from Colchester, both suffer from medical conditions which mean they can’t conceive a child naturally.

The couple, who have already been through one round of IVF, desperately want a baby but fear it may never be possible.

They face a deadline as Erika, 22, has spent years in and out on hospital and has been told she needs to have a hysterectomy.

At 17, doctors discovered she had endometriosis and polycystic ovaries.

She said: “After I had my first surgery they said I needed to think about if I wanted to have children.

“I was in and out of hospital and I was always in pain.

“At 18, I went through a medical menopause before my own mother did.”

Doctors also discovered Erika had adenomyosis where the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall.

After attempting a medical menopause twice and undergoing numerous surgeries doctors told Erika she needed a hysterectomy.

“I agreed to it as I know it is the best way forward,” she said.

“At the moment I am surviving on morphine and tens machines.

“But before it all went ahead I wanted to try IVF.”

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With help from their families Erika and Louis, who have been together for four years, managed to pay for a private round of IVF last year.

On Christmas Day the couple took a test and found out Erika was pregnant.

But on New Year’s Eve the couple were devastated to discover Erika was miscarrying the baby.

They were told they could try a second round but would need to find the funds again.

In April, they were given hope when the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to reinstate IVF for patients who met the criteria.

Halstead Gazette:

But the couple were told Erika did not meet the criteria as she was only 21 and had only registered with a GP practice in north Essex 11 months ago.

The rules require her to be registered for 12 months.

After unsuccessfully appealing the decision the heartbroken couple were told by their GP it could take as long as three years before they could get treatment on the NHS.

On hearing the couple’s plight friends Ben Pane and Stewart Dryburgh decided to step in to try to help them fund one last round of IVF.

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They hope to raise £15,000 to help towards the costs before Erika undergoes her next surgery later this month.

Ben said: “It will mean so much to them. When my kids see Erika and Louis they just gravitate towards them.

“The chance of them meeting, falling in love and wanting kids is so slim.

“At their age their dream can’t be snatched away, they deserve a baby.”

Halstead Gazette:

Erika added: “I have found it so overwhelming. As I have been in and out of hospital I don’t have a group of friends.

“Everyone is struggling with money because of Covid and they still wanted to help us.

“Growing up I had a difficult time with my mental health.

“Having babies was my goal in life.

“Both my parents are childminders and growing up our home was always full of babies and children.”

A spokesman for North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We cannot comment on individual cases.

“The CCG sympathetically considers all requests for IVF treatment.

“Our policy is to offer two cycles of treatment for eligible patients who have lived in the area for at least 12 months.”

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