Monday, 21 February, 2011

Fakenham couple’s twins are first babies born after pioneering IVF treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn


A bouncing pair of twins are the first babies born after specialist IVF treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.Taylor and Freddie Axton are now just over three months old and doing well.

Their parents Teresa and Mark Axton, who live in Fakenham, knew they would need IVF treatment if they were to have children.

Mr Axton, 42, who works as an engineering surveyor, said: “After a while Terry said to me ‘Have you ever thought about having children.

“Although I’d been married before it just hadn’t happened. The subject was dropped for a while but when we discussed it again Terry said that it would have to be by IVF, so I said ‘OK’

“Terry was referred by her GP at Burnham Market to the fertility service at Bart’s Hospital. But when their clinic in Norwich closed Terry was referred back to her GP.

“At that time the Lynn Fertility Centre was expanding so we opted for treatment in King’s Lynn. The IVF service was fantastic and everyone was brilliant.”

Mrs Axton, 40, had two sons from a previous relationship, one who is now 22 and the younger, aged 17, who was born following IVF treatment.

To qualify for NHS fertility treatment the couple had to meet specific criteria. Once accepted for treatment, Mrs Axton underwent a course of daily hormone injections during which she had ultrasound scan checks on the development of the egg follicles. When these had matured, her eggs were collected at the Arthur Levin’s Day Surgery unit in King’s Lynn.

Mr Axton then drove the eggs from the QEH to Bourn Hall Clinic, in Cambridgeshire, in an incubator plugged into the car cigarette lighter.

“It was pretty nerve-racking. I probably drove a little faster than I should have done,” he said. “Anyway, my part in the proceedings was minor compared to Terry’s achievement.”

Four days later, on February 17, Mrs Axton visited Bourn Hall for the embryos to be implanted, and her follow-up care was carried out by Lynn Fertility Centre at the QEH.

At 12 weeks she learned that she was expecting a boy and a girl. Both were born on October 20, Taylor weighed 4lb 12oz and Freddie weighed 4lb 1oz.

Mrs Axton said: “The staff from Lynn Fertility Centre and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital really were excellent.

“Nothing was too much trouble for them. If we needed help, advice or reassurance at any time of the day or night, someone was always there for us, and we’ll never forget that.”

Hamed Al-Taher, lead consultant at the Lynn Fertility Centre, said the twins’ arrival was a positive landmark for the new IVF service and its partnership with the Bourn Hall Clinic.

“Transport IVF means more patients’ choice and less need to travel for couples receiving IVF without compromising the success of the treatment,” he said.