19 February 2018

On 24 February Annie and Mark Hambley will celebrate the first birthday of their beautiful son Bodhi.

Mark and Annie Hambley with son Bodhi (centre) with Clare Soltysiak, Fertility Development Co-ordinator; Victoria Gittins, Embryologist and Rosalind Grainger, Fertility Nurse.

But for them, it will be no ordinary first birthday party. It will be a day when they take time to stop and thank the many people who helped to bring Bodhi into the world.

After months of trying for a baby, Annie was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. It was then the couple, from Shrewsbury, turned to the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre run by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).

After two rounds of IVF at the centre their son Bodhi River was born at 12.08am on 24 February.

To thank the staff who made their dream come true, Mark and Annie are using Bodhi’s first birthday to fundraise for The Fertility Centre via a JustGiving Page (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bodhiriver).

The couple are also planning a fundraising event at Button and Bear bookshop in Shrewsbury on 8 and 9 March to raise money for the Centre and PANDAS, the leading UK charity in supporting families suffering from antenatal and postnatal mental illnesses.

Annie and Mark returned to the centre, at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, this week to meet and thank staff.  Annie described it as “the place where magic really does come true – far better than Disneyland”.

Blogger Annie said: “On 24 February our miracle baby will be one year old, a day that over three years ago, having been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, we could only dream and hope would come true.

“But here we are thanks to the kind, caring, supportive, knowledgeable and just simply awesome fertility unit at SaTH, who saw us through the toughest and most joyful time of our lives and made all our dreams possible.

“There are no words to thank them and nothing we could possibly do to repay them for the amount of love they have given us in our perfect little Bodhi.

“They are the most wonderful people and they help give so many the most precious gift in the world – life.

“One in seven couples have problems conceiving and although you feel like you are the only person going through it, you’re not and we were shocked and surprised at how many people SaTH’s fertility unit helps every year.

“We understand that there are many parts of the NHS that need funds, now more than ever, and how many illnesses need to be treated and cured. However we have decided that to celebrate our baby’s birthday and the gift of life we were given we would like to fundraise for the fertility unit.

“Our little cub trusts mummy and daddy’s decision that the best birthday present you could give him would be to donate to the unit, without which he wouldn’t have a birth day!”

Claire Corfield, Quality Manager at Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre, said: “It was lovely to meet Annie, Mark and, of course, Bodhi when they came to see us this week and we can’t thank them enough for thinking of us at this very precious time for their family.

“In Summer 2018 we are moving to new, bespoke premises in The Severn Fields Health Village, Shrewsbury. The move to a larger, modern unit will allow us to offer an enhanced patient experience and increase capacity for our services.”