Littlehampton mum donates her eggs to gay couple after her cousin's tragic suicide

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An MRI radiographer from Littlehampton turned the tragic loss of her cousin into an opportunity to transform the lives of a gay couple.

Elizabeth Quick, who works at Goring Hall Hospital in Worthing, embarked on a journey to bring new life to a couple wanting a child. With the help of Surrogacy UK, she was able to give local couple Feliz De Carvalho and Adam Casey a family.

Elizabeth, 37, tragically lost her gay cousin to suicide and feeling as though her own family was complete, she looked for a way to help other gay couples have a family like her.

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She said: “My family was complete and after losing my cousin I began to re-evaluate what was important in life. I had my own beautiful children, and my eggs are going to waste every month. The question became why shouldn’t they be put to good use?”

Felix, Adam, Elizabeth's husband Nathan and ElizabethFelix, Adam, Elizabeth's husband Nathan and Elizabeth
Felix, Adam, Elizabeth's husband Nathan and Elizabeth

Surrogacy UK was formed in 2002, by a group of surrogates who believed that a successful journey for both surrogates and intended parent(s) was one based on trust, mutual respect and, above all, friendship. Elizabeth was able to get the support and advice she needed to embark on the journey.

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She said: “There was a three-month getting to know period and then the clinic processes. We met Adam and Felix in July 2020, and my egg collection was in February, 2021. The tests were delayed because of Covid but it was very special that Adam and Felix only lived 10 minutes down the road.”

The egg donation process starts the same way as IVF. Medication is taken which suppresses hormone production, giving the fertility specialist control over the process. Once the specialist has ascertained that the natural cycle has slowed, hormone treatment is used to boost the production of eggs produced. Hormone injections are then administered to help the eggs mature and ultrasound scans are performed every few days to monitor this.

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Once fully matured the eggs are collected under anaesthetic and takes up to 30 minutes to complete. After the procedure there is some cramping and you have to be monitored closely for OHSS which can be life threatening if not diagnosed quickly. Elizabeth had a mild case of this and was very bloated for a week but recovered well.

When asked what her family and friends think, she said: “My husband was supportive, and my children think it's really cool there are ‘babies’ in the freezer at the clinic. I felt very privileged to be a part of helping make someone a family.

“It is a nerve-racking process, but it is also exciting, and I can only image how nervous Felix and Adam were. I never had second thoughts once I started the process – especially now as their surrogate is due in March with their baby.”

Reflecting on the process and when asked if she believes there is a stigma attached to egg donation, Elizabeth said: “The stigma is usually around parents not telling their kids they are from donor eggs or even sperm. I think it's important to say that Surrogacy UK encourages all parents to be open and honest with their children as to where they come from. This avoids there being a difficult ‘Big’ announcement about it when they are older. This is a stance I support.

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“All children have a right to know their origins and I will be in Adam and Felix’s life forever so their baby will grow up knowing me and my family. I think it’s important for them to know why we are in their lives, and I would like them to have a relationship with my kids, too.”

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