- Jun 29, 2015
Meet the Chisholms. Nick and Nicola want to have a baby.
Fifteen years ago Nick Chisholm suffered a stroke during a rugby game, leaving the then 27-year-old with locked-in syndrome, meaning limited body movements.
Not expected to live, he has since defied the odds.
Now Nick Chisholm, 42, wants to add father to his list of impressive achievements, which includes marrying Nicola in 2013, after meeting her online in 2009.
The Dunedin couple started the Givealittle page, Project Baby Chisholm and aim to raise $70,000 to help them have a child.
Nicola, 43, said they have been trying for a baby for a couple of years, "but age is going against us".
The couple had saved $12,000 for IVF treatment but were devastated to learn the possibility of having a baby with Nicola's eggs was around 5 per cent.
In New Zealand the couple would have to wait two years for an egg donor.
However the San Diego Fertility Clinic could guarantee them success through using Nick's sperm with a donated egg.
If the fundraising target was reached the couple could then choose their egg donor, "with personality the most important".
Despite the physical challenges of a long flight, Nick would travel to San Diego as "he wants to be involved in every bit of it".
"It's a tremendous thing he wants to do, but with just us two it is going to be hard work."
The couple had no preference for the sex of the baby "as long as it is a healthy baby".
She was unsure if anyone else with locked-in syndrome had ever donated sperm to have a child, but tests confirmed "everything was fine".
Nick, a four-time New Zealand wheelchair body-building champion, was in excellent health through his diet and vigorous training regime.
Nicola said their relationship was "amazing".
"We have our ups and downs like everybody else, but it is awesome."
There would be some physical things he would not be able to do with their child, but he had shown with other children he would be a great dad.
"He just loves children, and children seem quite drawn to him."
Nick had already made plans to wear a baby sling, as "he is going to be involved".
Communicating via his messageboard meant that his relationship with the baby would be non-verbal but he used facial expressions to communicate.
Nicola said the couple had been overwhelmed by people donated money to their cause, including Mitre 10 in Dunedin donating $1000 on Thursday night.
By Friday afternoon the couple had raised $4400 towards their goal.
"It is quite overwhelming . . . we didn't want to ask for help."