Couple stunned as total strangers and friends raise thousands to help them have baby

LBK6 leaves Portsmouth  on May 10, 2007.  Picture: Mike Nolan.

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A COUPLE trying to conceive a baby have been wowed by the generosity of friends and total strangers who raised thousands of pounds for their fourth course of IVF.

Anna and Rudy Zissou set up a JustGiving page on Monday afternoon – less than a fortnight after their third failed attempt to have a child via the treatment.

Rudy Zissou  with his wife Anna at their Southsea home      ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180314-0518)

Rudy Zissou with his wife Anna at their Southsea home ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180314-0518)

To the Southsea pair’s amazement, they were inundated with support and reached their £2,000 goal in just six hours.

With just one frozen embryo left, they will use the cash to try for a baby again over the coming months.

Fashion retail worker Anna, 30, of Exmouth Road, said: ‘We’re completely overwhelmed and blown away. I keep checking the page trying to take it all in.

‘I’ve had close friends offer to help us financially with IVF in the past but we wouldn’t accept handouts or loans.

‘But one suggested JustGiving, so we thought we’d try it.

‘When Rudy got home from work on Monday we clicked on the page together – it was quite a shock.’

Raising a total of £2,505 through 105 supporters, it was Rudy’s auntie who pushed him and his wife of nearly four years over the target threshold.

The 39-year-old, who also works in fashion retail, said: ‘It was absolutely incredible. Our friends and donors we didn’t even know were dropping in amounts of money you couldn’t imagine.

‘This truly is our one dream and if the IVF pays off, each and every person who donated will have played a massive part in that.’

Short for in vitro fertilisation, IVF sees an egg removed from a woman’s ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory.

The fertilised egg, called an embyro, is then returned to the woman’s womb to grow.

Anna and Rudy’s latest attempt to get pregnant via the method follows a difficult two years of trying – which saw them successful the first time round, but their unborn daughter was diagnosed with a severe, terminal brain defect after a 13-week scan.

Yet the couple are determined to keep up the fight for the one thing they want more than anything else.

‘Our world was completely and utterly torn apart at our dating scan,’ Anna said.

‘But with every knock-back we have fought harder and we want this now more than ever.’

Rudy added: ‘’This is the one thing missing from our family.

‘There are no words to describe how thankful we are for the generosity people have shown us.

‘And if this is finally it, we will forever be indebted to all those who donated.’