A WOMAN says she feels like she is being “penalised” after being refused fertility support by the NHS because her husband already has a child.
Jade Charles, 34, and Daniel Charles, 36, from Colchester, tied the knot just over four years ago before beginning to try for a baby.
After several unsuccessful attempts and various doctor appointments, Jade was eventually referred to the infertility clinic at Colchester Hospital.
Following a series of scans and tests, the machine operator was told she would struggle to conceive a child naturally and would need IVF treatment.
In 2020 the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board decided to reinstate free IVF for couples in the area but only in certain circumstances.
Due to Daniel already having a 12-year-old child from a previous relationship, Jade was informed she was not eligible and would have to privately fund her treatment.
“It is utterly ridiculous and it feels like I am being penalised even though I do not have a child,” said Jade, who works at Premier Installations.
“The doctors told me that I clearly needed help because I have gynaecology issues as it is and I only have one working tube, so I think it is even worse they will not help me.
“I just think it is not fair at all and I do not know how they can play with people’s lives like that – my husband I think felt guilty at first, but this is not his fault.”
Jade has since had initial tests with Cambridge IVF but now needs to raise just shy of £10,000 to self-fund three rounds of treatment.
She has organised a family fundraising event to take place this Saturday at St Anne’s Church, Colchester, between 12pm and 4pm.
It will feature bouncy castles, face painting, a candy floss machine, cake stalls, a raffle, and much more.
“I’m not willing to give up easily but when you hit 35 the percentage of it working drops, so my time is limited and I need the funding as soon as possible,” said Jade.
“All my friends apart from one have children and it breaks me, but if the three rounds of treatment do not work, we will look into adoption.
“I am crossing all my fingers and hoping for the best.”
Bosses at the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board have now stressed every request for IVF treatment is sympathetically considered.
A spokesman said: “We understand it is devastating to have your request declined.
“The eligibility criteria have been developed to ensure equal access and a consistent approach across the East of England.
“Anyone declined for IVF treatment funding can appeal against the decision, which will be carefully considered by a panel of health professionals.”
To donate to Jade’s campaign visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jade-charles-5.