Hearing Jeanette Fardelin describe her personal journey from fearing she would never have a child to being the mother of five gorgeous children was for me one of the highlights of our Annual Meeting and Open Day on Saturday. Many of us were moved to tears as Jeanette, accompanied by her nine week old twins, Isaac and Lulu, sleeping peacefully in their pushchair, described to our Annual Meeting the sadness and the joy she and husband Arthur had experienced since first attending our Hewitt Centre for Reproductive Medicine more than a decade ago.
The couple suffered the heartache and disappointment of two failed IVF treatments and the stillbirth of a daughter at 38 weeks before they finally became pregnant with daughter Ellie six years ago. She was followed by another four children over the next six years, including the twins, all from frozen embryos conceived at the same time as Ellie.
To have such "quins" is very rare and Jeanette expressed her heartfelt gratitude to our Hewitt Centre and all our staff for making her and Arthur’s dreams come true. The moment when she described how they finally walked out of our hospital with a baby in their arms, after so many years of having to watch others do it, was one of the most moving of her memories.
As one of our fertility experts, Dr Charles Kingsland, told the meeting the success rate of our fertility treatment is now higher than it has ever been, standing at 50 per cent. We are also the largest NHS unit in the country and treated over 2000 patients last year, the vast majority within the NHS.
We now offer a seven day IVF service in order to expand and extend the help we can offer. In the interests of patient safety, we have also managed to reduce the incidence of multiple pregnancies while improving our success rates. The fact that we have introduced cutting edge technology, which is screening embryos more thoroughly and safely than ever before to pinpoint those most likely to lead to a pregnancy, has dramatically improved people's chances of parenthood.
Jeanette's twins were among the 8,396 babies we have delivered at Liverpool Women's in the past year during we which we have also cared for 1,689 babies in our Neonatal Unit and carried out 6189 gynaecological procedures.
The Trust has taken this exciting step because we believe it gives us another valuable opportunity to communicate directly with those people who are interested in what we do. It also gives us the chance to ask people for their thoughts and opinions as well as keeping the world up to date with what is happening at the Trust.
Lots of organisations are beginning to use Twitter and we are sure that the venture will prove a successful one for Liverpool Women's. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow us by searching for @Liverpool Women's