Everyone was celebrating at the annual assisted conception (ACON) party at CRH on Sunday. Our parents and their tots turned out in their hundreds for the afternoon and our ACON team were celebrating the service's 20th anniversary. When it started there were just 50 IVF cycles a year. Now there are 350 and the unit continues to have some of the best conception rates in the country.
Here's a few tributes to our top team.
Proud parents Anna Bradnum and Simon Reekie, (pictured with Martin DeBono) from Elland, brought along three month old baby Bethany. Anna said: “We decided we needed help which was devastating to us. But from the word go I cannot praise the ACON team enough.
“From the very first appointment we were given the highest care. Not just the medical advice. You know they know their stuff, but the nurses support you as a person, emotionally too.
“Whenever I came in for an appointment I always left feeling better than when I arrived. When we were waiting for results it was both exciting and scary – all mixed up at once. When I phoned for the results I couldn’t take it in. I had been trying to keep my expectations low... and I just couldn’t take it in. They said do you want it spelling out and I said Yes I do!! After being nine weeks pregnant you are not with ACON any more and I felt sad and missed them.”
Simon said: “They care for so many couple,s yet the team always made it feel personal.”
Mum Lindsay Mansfield, from Almondbury, came along with 15 month old daughter Gracie and her sister Elaina. Gracie was born at the third attempt for Lindsay and husband Allan.
She said: “We had been trying and it is very difficult and stressful. By the third round I couldn’t make the call to find out if it had been successful. My husband did it and I thought it was going to be no. I really could not believe it – I still can’t.”
Joanne and Simon Schofield from Cowlersley brought in 15-month-old twins Shay and Bryn. Joanne said: “We were hoping for one and got two little blessings. I can’t thank the ACON team enough. It is amazing what they have done for us.”
Kate and Lee Hamilton from Elland had Lydia and Grace 10 weeks early so the baby girls – each 3lbs 4 oz - spent time on the Special Care Baby Unit after they were born. Kate said: “I always wanted twins and we now have two lots of hugs and two lots of cuddles. The team is so friendly and so approachable. They become part of your life as you develop such a special relationship. You have that trust in them as you are counting on them to give us the best thing in life – and here they are. We have both ACON and SCBU to thank as without them we would not have these two. I will come every year because what they have done for us is amazing.”