Let me have a baby with my dead boyfriend's sperm
TODAY Ayla Cresswell's life could change forever.
The 25-year-old Toowoomba bank worker is asking a judge for permission to become a mum.
Her hopes rest with Justice Sue Brown and the decision to be handed down will likely change her life forever.
Ms Cresswell could not follow the routine path to motherhood because tragedy struck on August 23, 2016, when she found her beloved defacto partner Joshua Davies dead at their Toowoomba home at 6.30am.
Within hours Ms Cresswell resolved to have his baby without him, to fulfil a dream they both had.
Just how badly she wants this is clear from Ms Cresswell's patience and persistence in campaigning for her right to harvest Davies' sperm.
And along the way she is setting a legal precedent.
It was vital that the sperm was removed within 24 hours of Davies' death for it to remain viable, so Supreme Court Justice Martin Burns was woken in the early hours of August 24, 2016 to be in court in Brisbane at 4.30am.
It's unusual for the court to sit so early but in this case it was necessary.
Brisbane barrister Scott Lynch appeared before Justice Burns, who was on duty to hear urgent matters, to present witness statements hastily mustered together by Ms Cresswell's legal team.
Justice Burns ordered Davies' testes and any sperm be removed and held by an IVF provider, pending today's decision on whether Ms Cresswell can use it to try for a baby.
One of the factors Justice Brown will consider in making her decision today is whether Ms Cresswell understands it may be a heavy burden to raise Davies' child by herself.
Ms Cresswell has submitted that she is physically, emotionally and financially capable of having and raising a child on her own.
"I believe that I am sufficiently affluent to be able to raise a child by myself," she told the court, saying she had bought her first home last year and had diligently saved to fund costly IVF treatment.
She also has the support of her family and of the Davies family.
Fortunately in the hours after 23-year-old Davies died Ms Cresswell spoke with a family friend who was a lawyer who helped her navigate the complex process of applying to the court for permission to fulfil the dream she shared with Davies.
Lawyers with expertise in this area say it is a very specialised field because the IVF technology is so new, the law has rushed to catch up.
Ultimately Ms Cresswell's Toowoomba lawyers contacted one such expert, Brisbane barrister Kathryn McMillan QC, who has written academic papers on the subject and represented Ms Cresswell during the hearing last September.
It has been a long journey since Ms Cresswell's decision to try to harvest her dead boyfriend's sperm. Ms Cresswell has told the court she and Davies planned to get married and start a family.
She had been to her GP to get a check-up in just a month before, and was told her body was in perfect condition to have a baby.
And Ms Creswell has the support of Davies' family, with his father, bricklayer John Davies and wife Ionie fully supportive of her decision to have their grandchild this way.
John Davies told the court he phoned the Toowoomba hospital about 9.30pm on the night of his son's death and told them the family would be applying to the court for an order to remove his sperm.
The staff told him a surgeon was ready to perform the operation and all they needed was a court order.
John told Ms Cresswell Joshua would have wanted for her to have his baby, and that he "would be honoured" for her to have Joshua's children.
"Joshua spoke often of having children with me, and I think he would be very proud for me to be their mother," Ms Cresswell told the court.
Gynaecologist Anthony Cerqui has told the court Ms Cresswell was healthy and a good candidate for IVF.
Dr Cerqui said Ms Cresswell would have a 42 per cent chance of a pregnancy and a 30 per cent chance of a live birth using IVF and the injection of a single frozen sperm into one of her eggs.