After getting married in 2002 and trying for a baby without success we embarked on our IVF journey in 2006, and after 5 failed attempts between the NHS and privately, we decided to stop and rebuild our lives as the emotional rollercoaster of the fertility journey had really took its toll physically and mentally.
In 2013 as I was approaching the age of 40 in the following year we decided to give IVF one more go, and if this didn’t work this time it wasn’t meant to be. We did our research to look for a private consultant that had a good reputation and that could help us, and that led us to Mr Nardo.
Mr Nardo was amazing from day 1, really took time to go back to basics and look at all our medical history and what we had been through. On further examination Mr Nardo noticed a problem with my womb which needed to be operated on in his professional opinion would be needed before a successful conception happened. A problem on my womb that no one had previously picked up on was then rectified by a day case operation and then once I had recovered we embarked on 1 final attempt of IVF.
This time everything felt so different, Mr Nardo was always empathetic and always encouraging us to stay positive and there was always the personal touch from Mr Nardo you could always speak to him directly something that had never happened before. In November 2013, we got the best news ever we had a positive pregnancy test, something my husband Glen and I had never thought would happen.
In July 2014 – Our beautiful miracle baby Sophia arrived safely into the world on exactly week 36 of my pregnancy weighing 4lb 5oz. We will never forget how Mr Nardo and his team helped us achieve the gift of life which we thought would never happen, I do believe he is the Miracle Man of the fertility world he is truly amazing.
Our hopes, dreams and prayers had finally been answered, being a mummy and daddy was what we had always wanted, we were so happy a little family we had finally become, sadly from Sophia being 3 months old Glen her daddy started suffering with his health, he had suffered with a heredity liver disease for about 15 years which the condition had always been manageable, to it then becoming end stage liver disease to the point where he would need a liver transplant to survive.
Another emotional rollercoaster was about to start, Glen was placed active on the waiting list in April 2015. In November 2015 we got that call in the middle of the night to say that a liver had become available, off we went to Leeds where the operation would take place. Glen had further tests to find out that another problem had now occurred on his lungs and the consultant would not allow the transplant to go ahead as they did not believe Glen would survive the operation.
A devastating blow, one that caused Glen to be suspended on the transplant waiting list whilst they tried to rectify the problem on his lungs, the more the time elapsed the more Glen was deteriorating to the point at the beginning of April 2016 when Glen was being best man at his best friends wedding, he did a speech despite being breathless and not feeling well at all to then be taken to hospital on the same day. On arrival his oxygen levels were only 40% and the doctor treating him did not even know how he was standing on that level of oxygen let alone being able to do a best man speech.
After trying desperately to try and get his oxygen levels up without success, Glen was transferred to intensive care and a couple of days later he had to be put on a ventilator, and from then on he was just deteriorating until sadly on 20th April 2016 Glen lost his brave fight for life at the age of 39.
Life had truly been an emotional and cruel rollercoaster for Glen, from desperately wanting to be a dad and it finally happening after years of trying and unsuccessful fertility attempts he was then gifted with being a Daddy to his Princess Sophia and that was sadly short lived as Sophia was only 20 months when her daddy passed away.
I believe things could have been different if Glen had received the call that a liver had become available sooner, sadly not enough people are opting to be on the organ donation register and sharing their wishes with their families what they want when they die, so people like my husband are sadly losing their lives waiting.
Raising awareness of the importance of organ donation and the importance of talking about it to your loved ones and sharing your wishes is something that I am completely passionate about doing as I know first hand how heart wrenching it is watching someone you love more than anything in the world deteriorate day by day and the only way they are going to survive if someone gives them the gift of life by donating their organs when they no longer need them. It is like you have been handed a death sentence and there is only one way you are going to be potentially saved.
We are now currently setting up a charity in memory of my husband Glen called ‘Part of Me’ which is set up to continue to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and eventually we want to offer emotional and practical support to other families going through something similar to what we went through.
I hope sharing Glen’s story will make others think about organ donation and talk to their families as you really and truly do not know when someone you love will need a transplant.
Follow Cheryl’s progress
You can follow Cheryl’s progress and support ‘Part of Me’ via the links below: