Page 3 Profile: Elizabeth Rose, Crohn's patient


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Why does Lizzy finally have cause to celebrate?

After weeks of fighting for NHS funding to preserve her eggs before she undergoes chemotherapy, Lizzy has finally found some good fortune. A private clinic has offered to carry out the process free of charge, ahead of a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy for the 25-year-old, who suffers from Crohn’s disease. Lizzy, an artist from Margate, fears chemotherapy could make her infertile.

Why was she denied NHS funding?

In some parts of the country, local Clinical Commissioning Groups would pay the £4,050 fee. And even though a High Court judge ruled on Tuesday Thanet CCG’s funding policy was unlawful, the decision to refuse Lizzy funding were not deemed so. After the ruling, Lizzy vowed to make one last ditch attempt to secure funding from Thanet before the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) agreed to fork out for it themselves.

And what’s Thanet’s stance now?

They haven’t commented yet, but have said they will consider the judge’s decision. Lizzy’s solicitor, Merry Varney, said yesterday that because such a process takes time, in the meantime they have agreed to support Lizzy’s access to the treatment by funding her accommodation and travel to ARGC.

So what happens if there’s  another case like Lizzy’s?

Merry Varney said: “The wider implications of the court’s declaration is that, pending any successful appeal, any CCG, including Thanet CCG, who refuses women like Lizzy funding for egg freezing without an exceptionally good reason and without paying appropriate regard to their statutory duties, is acting unlawfully and will be open to a legal challenge.”

It must all come as a huge relief

Lizzy has accepted ARGC’s offer “with gratitude” and said: “I now need to continue my treatment and the offer by ARGC clinic gives me the best opportunity to do that.” She added: “I am aware that I am lucky in this respect and I hope that Thanet CCG do revisit their policy to ensure that no other single women in my position has to go through this process to ensure  that they can have children in  the future.