Aussie couple slapped with $120k debt after premature birth

Aussie couple Ellice Moi and Rhys McGowan knew that becoming parents would not be easy.

Ellice suffers from cystic fibrosis and has undergone a double lung transplant.

When she was told it would be too dangerous for her to carry a child to full term, she and partner Rhys had to look at alternative options.

Opting to go the surrogacy route, the were later introduced to Kendal Blacker a Canadian birth doula who agreed to helping them out.

Ellice and Rhys then transported their embryos and had them implanted in Kendal's womb in Canada.

On Christmas Day they found out Kendal was pregnant and were overjoyed with the news, but halfway through the pregnancy, their surrogate developed a complication and the baby had to be delivered via caesarean.

Baby Franklin came six weeks early and had to be transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which cost them around $15,000 a day.

Though he was born in Canada, he's not a resident so not eligible for Canadian Medicare, so the costs needed to be covered by Ellice and Rhys.

"Nothing went to plan throughout the whole journey so far, so we just decided to surrender to it, and be there for him and focus on his health," Rhys told Nine News.

"We were trying to gently advocate for a release as soon as he was ready to go, but obviously we didn't want to rush it and put his health at risk," Rhys said.


"It was stressful, but again it's offset by this little bundle of joy who's just staring at you lovingly. To make eye contact with him and to get to hold him and nurse him is just the most beautiful thing.

By the time Franklin was released from the unit, they couple had racked up a debt of around $120,000.

They've started up a GoFundMe to help pay off the costs, but they are no way regretful for their decision.

"I just look back and remember how sad I felt, and how it took a while for us to get our heads around it," Ellice added.

"But yes today, it's a completely different feeling and everything we've been through has just made us so much stronger and more resilient," she added. 

This originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.

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