DESPERATE to start a family, Debbie Trout today pleaded for help after being refused IVF treatment because her husband already has a child.
Heartbroken Debbie and her husband Kristian have been dreaming of having a child together since marrying five years ago.
But the couple, of Seaburn Dene, have been left shattered after being refused the fertility treatment due to Kristian having a nine-year-old daughter from a previous partner.
The decision has come as a massive blow to the pair who have been hit by a series of tragedies as they desperately tried for a child.
Debbie, 29, said: “It means everything to us to have our own family.
“It’s all I think about. I just want my own family.”
When Debbie was 20, her mum Elizabeth died after a battle with ovarian cancer – a disease her sister would also go on to fight.
A year later, doctors discovered a cyst on Debbie’s ovary, which was removed in an attempt to cut the chances of her developing the same disease.
In 2008, the call centre worker fell pregnant but, on Christmas Day, Debbie miscarried and they lost their baby.
It took the couple a few months to become pregnant again but they were soon looking forward to the birth of their baby.
But they then discovered the pregnancy was ectopic, meaning the foetus was growing outside the womb.
Debbie had to have her fallopian tube removed and the baby died. She was then told the other tube was damaged making it virtually impossible for her to fall pregnant naturally.
The couple were then referred to the fertility clinic at Sunderland Royal Hospital but after medication failed to help they were told their only chance was IVF.
But because Kristian, 38, already has a daughter with a former partner, they were told they are not eligible for free treatment offered on the NHS, meaning they would have to pay between £4,000 to £7,000.
“It’s devastating,” Debbie said. “We’re on a rollercoaster ride all the time. All I want is a child, it would make my life complete.
“It’s not fair. People get boob jobs and tummy tucks free on the NHS – why can’t we get this?
“We’ve worked hard all of our lives. Why can’t we be allowed to give the gift of life?”
Kristian, a car sales manager, added: “It’s not fair that my wife is being penalised for something beyond her control.
“It’s putting massive pressure on our marriage and it’s taken over our lives.
“The law needs to be changed because this is just not fair.”
Debbie and Kristian have appealed against Sunderland Primary Care Trust’s decision twice but have been turned down.
They are going through the final appeal process to have the decision overturned.
They have also contacted their MP, Julie Elliott, and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Sunderland PCT today defended its decision.
A spokeswoman for NHS South of Tyne and Wear, which covers Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT), said: “We know that it is distressing for people to be told that a treatment is not being made available to them on the NHS.
“Across the North East there is a consistent approach to the availability of fertility treatment, which includes three courses of treatment for couples who meet the full eligibility criteria.
“Part of the eligibility criteria for couples is that one of the partners has never had a biological or adopted child.
“This access criteria is in line with guidance from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which the North East agreed to adopt as our consistent policy.”