George Michael paid for the IVF treatment of a stranger, we learned. The music icon has donated £9,000 to help Lynette Gillard and her partner Nathan Hart turn their dream of having a baby into reality after hearing about their story on a game show.
The couple had been desperately trying to become parents for 13 years before the singer’s kind gift, going through nine cycles of unsuccessful IVF treatment in the process. With their savings now depleted, the couple put all their faith in securing a winning run on Channel 4’s Deal or No Deal in the desperate hope of funding more treatment and keeping their baby dream alive.
It was in 2016 that Nathan appeared on the show and managed to win £3,000 – the cost of one round of IVF treatment at the time. But when the episode aired six months later, Faith and Careless Whisper singer George – who would have turned 59 yesterday (Saturday) – just happened to be watching.
The next day, Lynette, 44, received a phone call that would change her whole life. “They asked me, ‘Are you seated?'” Lynette, from Wesoughton in Bolton, told the Mirror.
“They said, we had a phone call, there was an anonymous donor, they want to give you £9,000.” Becoming visibly emotional as she reminisces about that pivotal moment, the fitness instructor continued, “I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s a lot of money!’
“And I couldn’t believe we hit somebody on TV who watched our show and he actually picked up the phone and said, ‘I want to help this couple.’ who it was, they wouldn’t tell me.
“All I knew was that someone wanted to help out and we had enough for three more games.” Determined to find a way to say thank you, she sent a letter to the mysterious donor via the show and used the money to fund expensive tests at a London clinic to find out why the embryos weren’t implanting.
Lynette was born with a rare condition called uterus didelphys, where the uterus, cervix and vagina are divided by a thin layer of tissue, creating two of each. On top of that, the tests revealed that she had a high level of natural killer cells, meaning immune cells meant to fight disease were actually attacking and killing her embryos.
The good news was that it could be treated. Then in late 2017, a miracle happened – Lynette got pregnant naturally, missing her period on Christmas Day, the day George tragically passed away.
However, it would take almost a month for Lynette to find the courage to take a pregnancy test, so afraid was she of suffering more. This Boxing Day, House of Games host Richard Osman – who was a producer on Deal or No Deal – tweeted about George donating money for a contestant’s IVF.
Lynette called the production company to get in touch with Richard, who confirmed that yes, she was the person in question. “It didn’t sink in at first, but when it happened I burst into tears,” Lynette said of the surreal moment. “I thought, ‘This is crazy’. I couldn’t believe he was gone, and he was gone before I had a chance to say thank you to his face.
“I was heartbroken that he did something so kind and couldn’t thank him properly.” Desperate to express her gratitude, she and her partner Nathan Hart drove to George’s home in Goring, Oxfordshire, on New Year’s Day to lay flowers – an experience Lynette found overwhelming.
She said: “We got back in the car in silence. Nathan said to me, ‘I feel like I got off to see someone and he’s not there. It was the saddest thing.”
There was still no sign of her period. And on January 21, Lynette felt so bad that she made a doctor’s appointment, fearing she was seriously ill.
Not for a second did she dare entertain the idea that she might be pregnant. She couldn’t bear to hear suggestions that it might be morning sickness.
She didn’t want to be given false hope. Finally, days away from a ski trip, she passed the test and was amazed when a miraculous second line appeared.
At that time, she was eight weeks pregnant. “I looked at it and thought ‘I did that wrong,’ just because I was so used to seeing negative things,” she said.
“Nathan just looked at him and said, ‘you’re pregnant.’ I thought I was going to be sick, I couldn’t believe it.
“I walked around my friend’s house in my pajamas, threw the test at her front door and said ‘is that true? then I burst into tears. It was my time.
But she wasn’t out of the woods yet. With only half a uterus to grow the baby and half a cervix to support it, Lynette had been warned that she would not carry past 28 weeks and would need induction.
At one point, she spent six hours in hospital after suffering a bleed, but thinks George kept sending signs, trying to assure her that this time everything would be fine. “I constantly thought I had this child and it was going to be taken away from me.
“I know it’s going to be taken away from me. I had been given this gift and I just thought I would lose it,” she explained.
“And every time I had this feeling of, ‘I won’t get what I want in the end,’ I would get signs.” After getting back in the car, she turned on the radio to find George’s hit Faith playing.
In the end, she reached 39 weeks and was undergoing an emergency caesarean section when suddenly Jesus to a child from George came on the nurses’ radio. Her son Seth was born at a healthy 7lbs 10oz at 4.05am on September 3, 2017 – nine months after George’s death.
“All the odds were against me and I had finally made it. He was perfect,” she says. “I felt so, so lucky, I watch it every day and I know how lucky I am. I watch it at night and kiss it and think, ‘wow, I have so many chance’.
“I can’t put it into words, I’m so glad I kept fighting.”
This year, her “miracle” boy will turn five. He is about to start school and is, says his proud mum, a “ball of energy”.
Despite his young age, he is also aware of the kindness an international superstar once showed his mother. She says: “He likes the music and he’s funny because every time George is on the radio he says, ‘Mom, is that George Michael?
“I’ll say ‘do you know who George Michael is?’ And he’ll say, ‘Yes, he gave you money to have a baby Mama.’ He knows his middle name is George, after George Michael.”
Every year, Lynette and her small family travel to Goring to pay their respects to the late star, Seth dubbing the occasion “George Michael’s weekend”.
Over the years they have befriended others close to George, and Lynette says Seth is a big hit with them, as well as the fans. “Fans feel there’s a huge connection between George and Seth,” she explains.
“I found out I was pregnant just as George died. George did it for me, he did it for Seth and that’s special. Unfortunately, there’s one person Seth won’t meet never.
“I spoke to a few people who were quite close to George and they said he would have loved Seth,” Lynette continued. “It makes me so sad that they never had the chance to meet. George will never know how much he changed my life.
“All I wanted was to be a mum, I couldn’t imagine a future without children. I felt like I was put on the planet to be a mother and nothing else made sense. for me. If I could see him for even a minute I would tell him what an amazing person he was, how kind he was, how he touched the lives of so many people and how honored I feel to have touched his heart.
“My life finally started when I had Seth, and that’s thanks to George.”