Nikki Grahame revealed she'd started IVF journey to become a mum before her death – but lockdown shut clinics

NIKKI Grahame's hopes to become a mother were dashed after lockdown forced fertility clinics to close in the year prior to her death.

The Big Brother star sadly passed on Friday aged 38 following a life-long battle with anorexia.

In September 2019, the reality TV icon had revealed her hopes for a baby using IVF – and admitted she wanted Blue's Duncan James to be her sperm donor.

At the time, Nikki said she had begun enquiring about egg and sperm donation at a number of London fertility clinics, which closed six months later due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Sadly her long battle with anorexia, which began when she was seven, effected her fertility.

The TV star previously explained that she has never had a period or produced eggs to be able to conceive naturally.

Speaking to new! magazine, Nikki shared: "I've enquired at a few clinics in London. Ideally, I'd meet the right guy and we could go through the process together.

Determined to have a baby, the Channel 4 star admitted at the time that if she didn't find a partner by the time she's 40, she would go through the IVF process alone.

"I'm so independent," she said. "I think I'd be such a good mum because I know I'm capable when I put my mind to it."

When asked if she would consider pal Duncan James as a sperm donor, the TV star admitted he'd be a good choice, especially since he's already a dad to daughter Tianie-Finn.

She shared: "Could you imagine?! How good would that be? I should send him a whatsapp".

In March 2020, all new fertility treatments were temporarily suspended as the first lockdown was announced in the UK.

Then the following month, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates Britain’s fertility industry, ordered private and NHS clinics to stop treating patients who are in the middle of an IVF cycle.

Despite their sudden close in the wake of the pandemic, HFEA announced on May 11 that they were accepting applications for fertility clinics to reopen, meaning most were operating come June.

However thanks to lockdown’s interruptions as well as the backlog of patients once the clinic reopened, many hoping to start IVF were faced with huge delays.

Prior to her passing, Nikki's mother Sue appeared on This Morning last month when the TV star checked into a specialist facility after her desperate friends managed to raise enough cash to start paying for life-saving care.

Sue told viewers her daughter's health battle was sparked when gyms closed and Nikki's growing isolation as she lived alone triggered her relapse.

She said: "With Covid, it sounds crazy but stuff like gyms closing impacted her.


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"In order for her to eat she needs to know she can exercise, so when they closed it was quite a worry, the isolation as well.

"I asked her if she would come and stay with me but she said she needs to be in her home," she added.

"She was (suffering terminal loneliness) she felt very cut off and spending too much time on her own with not enough to think about other than food.

"It all came to a grinding halt. Also for Nikki, she would muddle herself through the year knowing she's got friends abroad and she would visit them. She spent a lot of time last year cancelling holidays."

Nikki's passing was confirmed in a statement on her GoFundMe page, which was started to raise funds to treat her eating disorder at a private hospital.

It read: "It is with great sadness, we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.

"It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age. Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.

"We would like to request privacy at this difficult time, while Nikki's friends and family process the sad news. Full details will be released as and when we know them."

It continued: "All donations have been greatly appreciated and it was heartwarming for everyone including Nikki to see how much she was loved."

Nikki's rep Freddie White also said in a statement: "It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021. Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time."

  • For help and support on eating disorders and body image, you can call Beat Eating Disorders on 0808 201 1677 for adults, or 0808 801 0711 if you are under 18.

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