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Private eggs freeze offer for woman
An artist who suffers from Crohn's Disease has been offered private financial support to freeze her eggs before she undergoes chemotherapy, her solicitors have announced.
The offer was accepted "with gratitude" by Lizzy Rose, 25, who cannot afford the treatment, just days after she lost a High Court battle for NHS funding.
Ms Rose, from Margate in Kent, fears that the "imminent" bone marrow transplantation and chemotherapy treatment she needs because of her debilitating disease will render her infertile.
Clinicians at King's College Hospital in south east London applied on her behalf for NHS funding so her eggs could be frozen before she undergoes the chemotherapy.
The application for a type of fertility preservation treatment known as oocyte cryopreservation was refused by Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Ms Rose's legal challenge to the refusal was rejected at London's High Court on Tuesday this week, and it was announced that she was making a last-ditch bid to the CCG to reconsider her case.
Mr Justice Jay ruled that a March funding refusal, and earlier similar decisions in Ms Rose's case, were not unlawful - even though the CCG's current funding policy was unlawful.
Ms Rose's application for judicial review was heard as a matter of extreme urgency because chemotherapy can only be delayed for four to six weeks, and oocyte preservation takes a few weeks to complete.
The Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design fine art graduate said she believed she was the victim of a "postcode lottery" as the treatment is available to single women in other parts of the country.
But today her solicitors from law firm Leigh Day said she has now accepted an offer of free treatment at a private clinic in London, with Thanet CCG also covering expenses.
They announced that, following the fertility procedure at the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre (ARGC) in London, Ms Rose will undergo a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy to bring the disease into remission, a course of treatment, which is highly likely to render her infertile.
Thanet CCG has agreed to fund the necessary travel and accommodation she needs due to the impact on Lizzy's health from travelling to the clinic.
Leigh Day solicitor Merry Varney, who represents Ms Rose, said: " The CCG are currently considering their legal position following the court's judgment that their current policy is unlawful.
"Having accepted that this takes time, which Lizzy simply does not have, they have agreed to financially support Lizzy to access fertility preservation treatment privately.
"The wider implications of the court's declaration is that, pending any successful appeal, any CCG, including Thanet CCG, who refuses women like Lizzy funding for egg freezing without an exceptionally good reason and without paying appropriate regard to their statutory duties, is acting unlawfully and will be open to a legal challenge."
Ms Rose said: " I am extremely grateful to Thanet CCG for taking this decision. I now need to continue my treatment and the offer by ARGC clinic gives me the best opportunity to do that.
"I am aware that I am lucky in this respect and I hope that Thanet CCG do revisit their policy to ensure that no other single women in my position has to go through this process to ensure that they can have children in the future.
"I have been overwhelmed by kind messages of support from the public and clinicians. I would like to thank anyone who took the time to contact me; your support means a lot."