A pensioner gave her granddaughter the gift of life when her £5,000 scratchcard winnings from a £2 Monopoly game helped pay for IVF treatment.
Brian Smith, 51, and his wife Sarah, 30, from Barrow, first began trying for a baby shortly after they got married in 2013 but struggled to conceive.
That was until Mrs Smith’s grandmother, Betty Ballinger, won £5,000 on a scratchcard which she used to pay for the couple’s fertility treatment.
The couple now have a beautiful daughter Betty-Ellen, who was named in tribute of her great-grandmother, who sadly never got to meet her.
Betty-Ellen was born in December last year thanks to her great-grandmother’s winnings from a £5k scratchcard which helped pay for IVF treatment
Betty-Ellen was named in tribute to her great-grandmother, Betty Ballinger who died in May ’16
Mrs Ballinger purchased the scratchcard in September 2015 and handed the winnings straight to her grandchildren who clubbed together to pay for the IVF treatment.
Mr Smith said: ‘Betty gave all the money to her grand kids, and all the sisters were going to use their money to buy a pug, but then the sisters got together and said “we don’t want a pug, we want to give you a baby”‘.
The winnings were spent on helping the couple conceive using an egg sharing programme at a Manchester based facility.
They had already been told they did not qualify for IVF funding as Mr Smith, who works at the Furness Railway, had already fathered two children.
Brian and Sarah Smith used a £5,000 scratchcard win to fund IVF treatment that resulted in Betty-Ellen
Mrs Smith’s grandmother, Betty Ballinger, won £5k on a scratchcard on a £2 Monopoly game
Mr Smith said: ‘Our experience was positive once we accepted that we didn’t qualify for IVF, we had more or less decided that if it happens, it happens and what will be, will be.
‘But we had a perfect embryo and pregnancy…everything went absolutely perfectly.
‘We froze three and kept one and it was amazing – the eggs were put in on April 16, and on April 27 we found out we were pregnant.
‘I think Sarah was born to be a mum.’
Mrs Smith gave birth to her baby girl, Betty-Ellen, on December 23 last year
According to Mr Smith, who is originally from Hertfordshire, Mrs Ballinger had been ‘knitting like mad’ in anticipation of the new arrival.
‘Nanny was 90-odd and all she wanted was for Sarah to have a baby’, he said.
She was able to see the heartbeat of her great-granddaughter in May 2016 but sadly passed away a few days later.
Mrs Smith gave birth to her baby girl, Betty-Ellen, on December 23, and she was named in honour of the woman who made her life possible.