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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August, 2003, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Grandmother's plea for IVF eggs
Patricia Eatwell
Patricia Eatwell "desperately would love another child"
A 56-year-old grandmother has put ads in local shops and a newspaper to find a woman willing to donate an egg to help her have a fourth child.

Priscilla Eatwell, from Hampshire, has been turned away by British IVF clinics because she is too old.

But now with the help of doctors in Italy and a donor she is hoping to beat the clock and have another baby.

"The donor would need to be under 36, preferably with a child already and be able to travel to Italy," she said.

Mrs Eatwell, who was sterilised 32 years ago, has two grown up children, Carmen, 32, and Sadie, 34, by her first husband.

A third daughter, Sophie was born 13 years ago with the help of IVF.

I just desperately would love another child and all the joy it brings
Priscilla Eatwell
She and her 69-year-old husband Don decided against having a second child with IVF at that time because of money worries.


But she told newspapers she is now desperate to have another child.

"I just desperately would love another child and all the joy it brings.

"Some people think I'm mad. Most women of my age would be doing their own thing now.

"But I am quite energetic. I manage to look after my grandson."

Mrs Eatwell, from Botley near Southampton, began her quest for a fourth child three years ago.

"I went to my local IVF clinic and I was past the age limit of 50," she said.

She then signed up with a clinic in London, which had an age limit of 55. However, after spending two years searching for a donor she was over the age limit.

Earlier this year, the couple travelled to Italy where they met a leading IVF doctor willing to treat her.

"The success rate for IVF with me is quite good, otherwise the Italian specialist wouldn't say he would do it."

Mrs Eatwell was told she could no longer use her own eggs because they deteriorate with age.

Local ads

This prompted her to place ads in a local newspaper and shop windows saying: "Could you give the gift of life and be our egg donor?"

"My family know me very well and it's no surprise to them that I want to do this so badly.

"I've been doing all the work myself, advertising wherever I can because I want this baby so much," she said.

"But obviously my time is running out and if a donor doesn't come forward soon it will all be too late," she said.

Mrs Eatwell was sterilised when she was 24 because she thought then that she did not want any more children.

"I had two children and I thought I had all the children I wanted.

"But I was very young then and I didn't think I might make another decision years down the road," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates IVF clinics in Britain, said Mrs Eatwell was free to seek a donor to have another child.

"There is no age limit in the law on how old a woman can be with regard to IVF treatment. Clinics make up their own minds," she told BBC News Online.

"As long as the ad doesn't contravene advertising standards and as long as it is advertising for an altruistic donor - someone who won't be getting paid - then it is ok."

Women asked to donate eggs
21 Apr 03  |  Nottinghamshire

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