Lottery-winning NHS nurse hoping to ‘break down taboos’ of IVF treatment

An NHS nurse who used her share of a £1 million lottery win to fund the birth of her daughter through IVF treatment has begun charity work to “break down the taboos of the subject”.

Rebecca Brown said “irreplaceable” Ethel was “worth every penny and more besides” after using £12,000 of her winnings to fund the treatment.

The 40-year-old single mother was told by doctors she needed to have a baby “sooner rather than later” in February 2018 after a smear test revealed abnormal cells which turned out to be pre-cancerous.

IVF baby after lottery win
IVF baby after lottery win

Ethel was born on January 24, weighing seven pounds and 10 ounces.

Miss Brown previously said her daughter would not be spoiled, but on Friday admitted to being “a bit excited for her first Christmas” – with Ethel’s grandad describing the family home as looking like “a game of Tetris” due to the number of presents.

She told the PA news agency: “I think lockdown didn’t help. We had nothing to do and nowhere to go so while Ethel was napping I did an internet shop.

“You don’t really notice at first and then all the parcels all seemed to arrive at once and I just thought ‘oh my goodness’.

“I do want Ethel to try and stay grounded, but I think, like any new parent, you get a bit excited for their first Christmas.

“There was a Special Buy at Aldi, and it was a remote control ride-on Audi TT so yes, she’s got one.”

Miss Brown, from Nottingham, won her share of £1 million on the National Lottery as part of a family syndicate in August 2016 with her 64-year-old mother Yvonne, 65-year-old father David and 38-year-old sister Julie.

Rebecca Brown
Rebecca Brown

After funding her IVF treatment with some of her winnings, Ethel was born at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham – the same hospital Miss Brown works at as an orthopaedic nurse.

Asked if the £12,000 spent on her IVF treatment was still the best money she had ever spent, Miss Brown said: “Oh yes, definitely.

“She’s irreplaceable. She was worth every penny and more besides.”

Miss Brown said her daughter had become petrified of people following the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’ve not really been seeing people, we’ve stayed to our little bubble. It’s got to the point where Ethel is petrified of people because she hasn’t seen people,” she said.

IVF baby after lottery win
IVF baby after lottery win

Despite the pandemic, Miss Brown has now teamed up with Fertility Network UK to try and offer support to prospective mothers throughout their IVF journey.

She said: “We’re hopefully trying to break down the taboo of the subject so it does become more widely talked about.

“I really hope that by chatting about my story others will find hope in their journey.

“The more people talk about IVF, the less stigma will be attached to it and we can talk freely about it and help each other.”

Despite their win, Miss Brown said her family still play the lottery.

She said: “Hopefully we win this big rollover tonight and then I’ll never have to go back to work.

“We still play. We don’t think we’ll win because we think that ship has sailed but it’s just the fun of it isn’t it?”