St Clair couple’s big leap to tell their story on TV

Ilina and Nick will appear on ‘Big Miracles’.
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Starting a family is one of the most personal journeys someone can go through, so when St Clair couple Nick and Ilina Gorgievski saw a call out for the Channel Nine show ‘Big Miracles’, they admit they had their reservations.

“There was an email going around asking if anyone was interested in sharing their story, and I made a phone call to the producers and told them our story, and they gave us a call back and asked us if we’d like to do a day of filming,” Ilina said.

“We were a bit hesitant about it, but Nick really warmed up to the idea.”

It wasn’t until after five years of trying for a baby naturally that Ilina was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, to the point where it will require ongoing surgeries every few months to remove it. Doctors also discovered both her fallopian tubes were blocked and needed removing, meaning IVF was their only hope of having a child.

For Ilina, this came as a complete shock.

“When I was younger, I didn’t even know what [endometriosis] was. I was very naïve to the situation and very sheltered from it,” she said.

“I just had pain and I thought it was normal, because you hear women say, ‘It’s normal to feel pain’, so you never thought too much into it until a lot of people started saying they had endo, and I thought, ‘Is that something I’m going through?’.”

According to Ilina and Nick’s IVFAustralia fertility specialist Dr Gavin Sacks, this isn’t uncommon.

“Endometriosis is a chronic gynaecological condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found growing outside of the uterus,” he said.

“It’s often referred to as a silent and misunderstood condition.”

Though some sufferers will conceive naturally, Sacks said that endometriosis can be associated with decreased egg numbers and poorer egg quality, so some women with endometriosis may need the help of IVF.

However, for Ilina, even this hadn’t worked, having only managed six viable embryos, all of which failed to transfer, after five gruelling egg collections. She has also had to overcome shattering circumstances, including her last surgery where she collapsed while walking to the bathroom, sending her into cardiac arrest.

This is where ‘Big Miracles’ comes in.

Nick said that his ultimate hope from the show is to raise more awareness so that younger women can learn from them, and be encouraged to seek medical advice and get a diagnosis earlier.

“If our story or our journey could potentially help someone in some sort of way, that was the whole thing for us to get on the show and to get out there, to help people in the future,” he said.

Ilina agreed with this sentiment.

“I know a lot of women who suffer through endometriosis, and go through this IVF journey, and they suffer in silence,” she said.

“It was nice to bring that point of view across, and make women feel the way the show made me feel in the beginning – that I’m not alone – and we wanted to portray that and give it justice.”

With Ilina and Nick’s story set to feature in episodes five and six of ‘Big Miracles’, airing on March 4 and 11 respectively, the couple are definitely nervous.

“I’m excited about the show and bringing our story to life, especially because a lot of people have already reached out and are asking me questions about what I’m doing with IVF after seeing just a snippet of an episode, but I do feel a bit vulnerable and very, very exposed on it,” Ilina said.

“I’m an emotional being, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I think it’ll be hard watching back some of it.”

Cassidy Pearce

Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.

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