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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
Bid to have late husband's child
Rachel and Gareth Wyke
Gareth Wyke died a few months after the couple got married
A woman who fought for the right to use her late husband's sperm to conceive is to start IVF treatment on Wednesday.

Rachel Wyke, 23, of Walsall, was denied help on the NHS because she is a widow, but an anonymous couple are paying for her 3,500 treatment.

Her husband, Gareth, who died from testicular cancer in 2003, froze his sperm when he found out treatment for his illness may leave him infertile.

Mrs Wyke is due to start her treatment at Birmingham Women's Hospital.

I find out just before Christmas, so hopefully it will be an early Christmas present
Rachel Wyke

She said her husband had signed a consent form before his death at the age of 23 in December 2003, just a few months after they got married.

Mrs Wyke said: "I'd already lost a husband. Why lose a child that we'd always wanted?

"It's really expensive to go private and I do wish the NHS would fund it for more couples and also single people as well.

"I just think Gareth wanted me to be happy. He said he would be really happy for me to go ahead with it."

She added: "I'm really excited and really nervous. Gareth's sperm quality isn't that good so that's the reason why I've probably got a lower percentage than everybody else.

"I'm still a little bit wary about that.

"I find out (whether the treatment has worked) just before Christmas, so hopefully it will be an early Christmas present."

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