OPINION: Never give up on hope

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When Carol and Nick Ions went for their fifth round of IVF treatment in a desperate attempt to become parents they never expected it to work.

That belief was so strong they even booked a holiday away to Las Vegas for Carol’s 40th birthday as well.

And who could blame them - after years of heartache, a rollercoaster of emotions and disappointment - for hardly daring to hope.

None of the doctors they had seen had ever questioned why they were struggling to conceive, despite Carol’s family medical history including the death of her grandma during childbirth.

Experts had tried in vain to treat the problem, rather than searching for its root cause.

For 12 long years the couple had battled to start the family they yearned for, going through procedure after appointment

But the answer had lain in a simple blood test all along.

Sheffield fertility expert Dr Adel Shaker carried out the tests and found Carol had a previously undiagnosed gene disorder that meant her blood was prone to clotting and also affected her ability to get pregnant.

This shock diagnosis - as well as blood-thinning drugs the couple nicknamed ‘superglue’ was soon followed by the incredible news that Carol was pregnant at last.

The trip to Las Vegas was off.

Baby Neve arrived at Sheffield’s Jessop Hospital nine months ago, instantly winning over the midwives.

She has been hailed a ‘miracle’ by her proud parents, and their dream has finally come true.

Stories like this are a joy to report when so often the news can be of doom and gloom

They also show yet again how important it is for people to have regular health checks and for them to be as thorough as possible.

We hope that today’s piece may help other couples who are struggling to start a family, and show them that there can be hope when you least expect it.

Congratulations to Carol, Nick and Neve on finally becoming a family.