Who is the typical IVF patient? Well, to the uninitiated it might be an older couple (40+) who may have been trying naturally for years without success. In reality, however IVF patients can be of any age, single, in a relationship or not. There is not a ‘typical’ IVF patient – each is different with their own dreams and aspirations and this is exactly how we view the individuals and couples we see at Clínica Tambre.
Kirstie and Chris were an example of how infertility can affect anyone, at any age
The couple from had their first unsuccessful IVF cycle in their home country of Northern Ireland in 2016 at the age of just 22. Kirstie had experienced a premature menopause at the age of 16 and by the time she had met her partner Chris she was aware that she would not be able to conceive naturally.
Premature menopause means that that the ovaries aren’t working properly and stop producing eggs before they normally would. It should be noted that Premature menopause affects 0.1% of women under the age of 30.
How did the relationship between Kirstie, Chris and Andrew Coutts begin?
Tambre’s U.K. Ambassador, Andrew Coutts helped the couple through two further cycles in Greece before introducing the couple to our team in Madrid in 2019. Andrew Coutts first met Kirstie in Chris in 2018 just as they had received the devastating news that their latest IVF cycle in Greece had not been successful. It was a bitter blow for the young couple following a failed cycle in their home country of Northern Ireland.
Andrew said, “I immediately warmed to Kirstie and Chris and was both touched by the fertility journey they had been on and their absolute determination to try everything they possibly could to have a child of their own”. Over the coming months Kirstie and Chris would experience joy and sadness in equal amounts as the couple underwent a second, successful cycle in Greece only for Kirstie to suffer a silent miscarriage after six weeks.
“It was a watershed moment for the couple. It was at that very low point where they could have easily and understandably said, ‘enough is enough’ but they didn’t. I remember Kirstie saying, ‘We won’t give up, we truly believe that our time will come’ and I set out to help them achieve the dream”, Andrew explains.
The exciting arrival of Kirstie and Chris in Tambre!
Andrew’s first thought after the latest sad events was to contact the Tambre clinic with whom he had worked with for a number of years to ask for some advice, “I had visited the Tambre clinic a number of times over the years and was aware they had an excellent reputation for helping couples with quite challenging fertility issues. I spoke to Inge Kormelink, the CEO at Tambre and told her about Kirstie and Chris. Inge immediately said, ‘let’s try and help them’ and to her great credit, she said the couple would get the full support of everybody at Tambre. And this is exactly what happened. I remember telling Kirstie and Chris about the generosity offered by Tambre and they were speechless. Whilst they were determined to continue their fertility journey they thought it might have to end due to not being able to fund any more treatment. Tambre’s offer to cover the cost of further tests and subsequent treatment was way beyond anything I, or the couple were expecting,” explains Andrew.
“I accompanied Kirstie and Chris on that first visit to Madrid but they didn’t really need me as the Tambre team made them feel extremely welcome from day one so I felt very comfortable leaving the couple in the very capable hands of the clinic,” he concludes.
It was a challenging case and Kirstie and Chris were under no illusion that it would work this time. We, however, were confident in our ability as a team to personalise a treatment plan that would give the young couple the best possible chance of success.
We took time to assess every aspect of Kirstie and Chris’ fertility health and identified an appropriate egg donor. We made sure everything was in place and created an embryo which unfortunately had to wait to be introduced to Kirstie due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic.
But it was worth the wait…Baby Jamie was born on 30 December 2021!
The Tambre experience is perfectly summarised by Kirstie,
“In the past we got the feeling that we were considered too young to be having fertility problems and we shouldn’t be using resources meant for older people. Tambre didn’t give us that impression; we were treated with respect and dignity from the first day we met them”
A point perfectly made by our UK Ambassador, Andrew, “The ultimate goal for everyone visiting a fertility clinic is the same but we all tread a unique path to get there. We come with different baggage, expectations, hopes and fears and these differences need to be acknowledged and accepted by treatment providers. Tambre do this, and do it very well”
We are pleased to help couples like Kirstie and Chris from all over the world and endeavour to succeed where others have failed. Our team will take all the time it needs to consider your specific requirements and dreams and create a treatment plan which is designed to provide the best possible outcome regardless of your age or relationship status.
We are all different, and we deserve to be treated so.
The baby that Kirstie and Chris had waited for so long came into this world on 30 December 2021. Baby Jamie was so worth the wait, and the couple are looking forward to a time when they can return to Tambre to introduce their little miracle to everyone who helped bring this story to such a lovely conclusion.
A summary of Kirstie and Chris’ story in a beautiful audiovisual production
Kirstie and Chris’ emotional and inspirational story was captured on film by Jules Burke and the team from Best Fertility Now. Jules is a very experienced journalism and producer and we were privileged that she choose to work with Tambre to share this amazing story.
Below you can see the video that was filmed both at Tambre and at Kirstie and Chris’s home in Northern Ireland, where we can also see our colleague Andrew and the Medical Director of the clinic, Dr. Laura García de Miguel. Don’t miss it!