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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 7 August, 2020

First 'test tube' baby mother dies

Lesley Brown made medical history on July 25th, 1978.

IVF Pioneer Professor Robert Edwards with Lesley Brown, her daughter Louise Brown and her son Cameron
IVF Pioneer Professor Robert Edwards with Lesley Brown, her daughter Louise Brown and her son Cameron
Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE WORLD’S FIRST woman to give birth following IVF treatment has died.

Lesley Brown, who made medical history on July 25th 1978, when she gave birth to daughter Louise, died from septicemia at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on June 6th, it was announced today.

She was laid to rest this morning following a private funeral service. Her husband died five years ago.

Brown succesfully conceived following pioneering treatment by Dr Patrick Steptoe and Professor Robert Edwards at the University of Cambridge. Her daughter Louise was later born at Oldham General Hospital.

Edwards won the Nobel prize for medicine in 2010 through the development of in-vitro fertilisation.

Speaking on behalf of Professor Robert Edwards and the team at Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridge, set up two years after Louise Brown’s birth by Edwards and Steptoe, chief executive Mike Macamee said:

Lesley was a devoted mum and grandmother and through her bravery and determination many millions of women have been given the chance to become mothers.

Brown was unable to conceive naturally because of blocked fallopian tubes. After hearing of new research being carried out into fertility treatment, she was referred to the researchers in Cambridge.

Over four million people have since been born through IVF methods, it is believed.

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