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Couple fights to change law preventing IVF coverage for vets

After a roadside bomb in Afghanistan caused Kevin Jaye to lose a leg and a testicle, he and his wife Lauren turned to IVF to start a family
Wounded vet denied IVF coverage by VA health insurance 03:11

FREDERICK, Md. -- Losing a leg in Afghanistan was not about to stop Kevin Jaye from marrying Lauren Belliotti last August. But another wound cast a cloud of doubt over their vows.

"I am looking forward to every day I have with you, watching us grow from just the two of us to the family we've always dreamed of," Belliotti said on their wedding day.

Kevin Jaye and Lauren Belliotti CBS News

But the roadside bomb that took Jaye's leg also blew away one of his testicles and damaged the other. So they went to see Dr. Jason Bromer of the Shady Grove Fertility Clinic outside of Washington.

"He does still make some testosterone and he does still make some sperm, but far less than the average and not enough for them to be able to conceive naturally," Dr. Bromer explained.

Bromer performed a procedure called in vitro fertilization (IVF), using a needle to inject Jaye's sperm directly into one of Belliotti's eggs in the laboratory.

It didn't work. "It was probably the worst day of my life," Belliotti said. "We felt hopeless."

VA criticized for not covering IVF procedure 02:50

After a second try, Belliotti tested herself with a home pregnancy kit. "It was like 4 or 5 in the morning, and I woke him up and I was like, 'I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant!'"

"It was probably the best wake up call ever in the history of wake up calls," Jaye remembered.

A sonogram confirmed it -- they could see their baby's heart beating. "It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my entire life," said Belliotti.

The pair has been very open about what most couples would prefer to remain private. That's because their circumstances are a little different.

"We're trying to change a law in Congress to allow other guys in my situation to be able to have the family they want, the family of their dreams, and not break the bank."

That's right. A current law that is the product of anti-abortion politics prohibits the Department of Veterans Affairs from covering the cost of in vitro fertilization for any of the estimated 1,800 veterans who have suffered damage to their reproductive organs.

Government refusing to pay for veterans' IVF treatment 04:53

"A lot of the guys need to start talking up about it, or Congress is just going to keep shoveling dirt over the top of it and not do anything about it," said Jaye.

Jaye and Belliotti were able to afford the $25,000 cost because her job as a teacher comes with health insurance that covers in vitro fertilization.

"Our ultimate hope is just to be able to change the law. We're not looking for handouts or anything like that," Jaye explained.

The couple is expecting their baby in August, but they've done it without any help from the government which sent him to war.

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