Mother of First "Test Tube Baby" Dies
As a Boomer, you probably remember very well the news that broke in July of 1978 about the birth of the world's first IVF baby, Louise Brown. If you've struggled with fertility issues yourself, you may well be one of the many women who have benefitted from that pioneering procedure in order to have a family of your own. Now Lesley Brown, the woman who made history as the mother of the first "test tube baby," has died in Bristol, UK at the age of 64 after "a brief illness," according to many sources including BBC, TheGuardian, and BirminghamMail.
Lesley passed away at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on June 6th 2012 with her family at her side. This has just been announced. She leaves behind daughters Louise and Natalie, both of whom were born following IVF treatment, her stepdaughter Sharon, and five grandchildren. Her husband died five years ago. The BBC quotes Louise as saying, "Mum was a very quiet and private person who ended up in the world spotlight because she wanted a family so much. We are all missing her terribly." Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Professor Robert Edwards, who performed the IVF procedures for Mrs. Brown, created the Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridge UK two years after Louise was born. It is the world's leading center for IVF treatment but it has spawned countless others around the globe. "Assisted reproduction," a medical event that was once a rarity, has become common enough that people often ask the parents of twins and other multiples whether the children are IVF babies. For the record, Louise is now a healthy 34-year-old with a son of her own. He was conceived naturally.