A Nottingham couple saw their plans to start a family put on hold by addiction issues, prison time, and then Covid.
Last year, Lisa Selby and Elliot Murawski found out IVF treatment was their only option to have a child, but Covid-19 delays and Lisa’s age prevented them from accessing more than one cycle of the treatment through the NHS.
The couple – who have overcome their own addiction battles and met in a recovery group in 2015 – had their treatment cycle ended at Queen’s Medical Centre and decided to look at private IVF clinics abroad.
After serving two and a half years for drug offences, Elliot’s release from prison in 2019 left the couple intent on having their own children and making up for lost time.
Fundraising through their Instagram page (@bluebaglife) where they help others through their addiction troubles, Lisa and Elliot have now been able to receive the treatment in Athens, Greece last week – leaving them both filled with emotion.
Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Lisa, who is 44 and a lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, said: “We had our first round of IVF on the NHS in Nottingham but I was a poor responder probably because of my age. It was also stopped because of Covid.
“I voiced my situation on our Instagram page and launched a fundraiser so we could still try and have the treatment. We managed to raise more than £7,000 which we are so grateful for.
“There are extra procedures and other costs come into it all, but the fundraiser has been a massive help.
“In the UK it’s much more expensive to get the treatment and reading about the clinic in Greece, I’ve seen on forums how other women my age have managed to get the results they wanted.
“The lockdown has meant we had to wait longer, the biological clock for me is ticking to so to speak so we did start to panic a bit.
“There was a nurse at the clinic who started talking to us about addiction issues and we told her about the work we do, it was like we were both there helping each other.
“It’s so easy to lose hope throughout this process. There are so many hurdles and a lot of difficulties.
“We feel we’re ready for this step so hopefully we can have a child. There are times when we get tearful thinking about it, but them I remind myself that it only takes one egg.”
Through ‘gofundme’, the couple have raised £7,300 to pay for the treatment in Greece and their travel costs.
Elliot, 32, added: “It was the first time in ages I was able to go abroad – being locked in a prison cell before and all. It was great to go over there.
“It’s really overwhelming right now to think about it all.
“We’ve thought about having children for so long. As soon as we got there we felt like we were in the right place.
“We knew we weren’t ready while I was serving my sentence.
“Looking at other children in the prison hall when Lisa would visit me, it made us realise it was what we wanted.”