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Lesley Brown (first IVF mom) passed away

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#1 gibasgirl

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:21 PM

I stumbled across this article today. She was the first to have IVF success back in 1978. I even remember when her daughter, Louise, was born.

Lesley was only 64.

The Guardian has a lovely tribute to her bravery.

Here is a link to the BBC story about her passing. (There are additional stories on the BBC site, too)


First test tube baby mother Lesley Brown dies

Posted Image
Louise Brown celebrated her 30th birthday in 2008 with her mum Lesley, son Cameron and IVF pioneer Prof Robert Edwards
The woman who gave birth to the world's first test tube baby has died.

Lesley Brown, 64, who lived in Whitchurch, Bristol, made history in July 1978 when her daughter Louise was born at Oldham General Hospital.
Mrs Brown had been trying for a baby with her husband John for nine years before she became the first woman to give birth following IVF treatment.
She died at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on 6 June with her family by her side, it has been announced.

She successfully conceived following pioneering treatment by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards.

She leaves behind daughters Louise and Natalie, who were both born following IVF treatment, her stepdaughter Sharon and five grandchildren.
Posted Image
Mrs Brown successfully conceived following pioneering treatment
Her husband died five years ago.

A private funeral service was held in Bristol on Wednesday morning.

Louise Brown said: "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 Steptoe and Prof Edwards set up the Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridge two years after Louise Brown's birth. It is now a leading centre for IVF treatment.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Edwards and the team at the clinic, 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.
"She was a lovely, gentle lady and we will all remember her with deep affection."

Speaking in 2008, Mrs Brown said she had been so desperate to have a baby that she was willing to put up with anything to give birth.
At the time, she said: "I'm just so grateful that I'm a mum at all because without IVF I never would have been and I wouldn't have my grandchildren."

Her blocked fallopian tubes meant getting pregnant naturally was impossible.

In 1976, she heard about new research and was referred to Dr Steptoe, after which she agreed to the experimental procedure.
Although other women had been implanted with fertilised eggs, Mrs Brown was the first to achieve a pregnancy which went beyond a few weeks.

The attention around the pregnancy brought with it concerns for her baby's safety.

Mr Edwards said in an interview in 2008: "We were concerned that she would lose the baby, the foetus, because the press were chasing Mrs Brown all over Bristol where she lived.

"So, secretly Patrick Steptoe hid the mother in his car and drove her to his mother's house in Lincoln - the press didn't know where she was."
Mrs Brown recounted that once she was in Oldham hospital reporters tried a variety of methods to sneak into her room from a bomb hoax to posing as cleaners.
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#2 Yearning

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:33 PM

Much to young...What a wonderful pioneer for IVF!
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#3 Rick


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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:44 PM

I'm just finishing up the book "A Matter of Life" written by Edwards and Steptoe which tells the story of all they went through until they finally had success with Mrs Brown. I admire all of them including the patients who volunteered as guinea pigs. I feel like I just got to know her a little. Sad to read that she has passed.
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#4 mouse


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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:58 AM

Thinking of her family, friends, and all who will miss her.
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#5 jenloveslife

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:33 AM

Wow! Shocking!
Me: 29 DH:39
TTC- 18 mths
Diagnosed with severe endometriosis thru laproscopy Feb 2011, Diagnosed with left tube hydrosalpinx and corrective surgery Dec 12/11
Jan 23/12- First IVF treatment- Start Suprefact
Feb 7/12 Baseline u/s- Start Gonal F-225 and Luveris 75
Feb 19/12 Egg Retrieval- 20 eggs (some immature), 10 fertilized
Feb 24/12 Transfer of 1 perfect blast, 4 blast frosties
Mar 7/12 HPT: BFP!!
Mar 8/12 Lab confirmed BFP!!! Yeahhhhhh!
First u/s scan sometime of week of Mar. 26/12
Estimated due date: November 12/12
Seen 1 little bean with tiny blood clot Mar 29/12. Seen heartbeat, praying everything is gonna b ok
Next u/s booked for May 9/12
Baby measured a full week and one day ahead of schedule!!
Next ultrasound booked for June 14
U/S shows healthy baby right on track with growth. Chose not to find out the sex of our baby!!
November 11, 2012 Welcomed Nathaniel Dean into this world!

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#6 Proud_IVF_Mommy

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 02:11 PM

I feel for her family and friends. I for one will always be greatful for the impact they made in this world. Without her and her dr.s I wouldn't be able to hug my daughter at night. She was and always will be an inspiration in the strength all of us IF surviors posses.
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TTC#1 for 3 years before being blessed with an IVFwICSI Miracle in Jan, 2010

TTC #2 for 3 years ~ No luck so far ~ IVF & FET cycles a bust.  Moving onto donor sperm. Not sure when yet...

Check out my profile for info on previous cycles

Sept 2013 - Still waiting on referral to an IF Specific Urologist - Hubs wants a second opinion before he ok's the donor sperm

#7 July2011

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:13 PM

So sad....much too young. When her daughter Louise was born, I was just a young girl. Way back then,never thought that IVF would be so important in my life. If not for IVF and it's advancement as well as with DEs, my 1 year old daughter wouldn't be here. We are so lucky to be Mom's because of her and medical breakthroughs.
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Age - me 43 - He's 40
TTC - 3 years - poor egg quality
Decided to use egg donor
Two embryos transferred on Oct 28
Nov 10 - Beta 371
Nov 12 - Beta 886
Nov 24 - cramping - U/S - saw heartbeat
Nov 25 - u/s results - only one heartbeat but two sacs - one twin likely not viable
Dec 6 - u/s - only one heartbeat - 167
Dec 22 - u/s - heartbeat of 161 - baby moving lots
Jan 5 - u/s - nt test - all looks good - heartbeat of 163
Jan 20 - doc appt - heard heartbeat when baby wasn't moving - the sweetest sound !!
Feb 15 - 18 week u/s - all good We didn't find out the sex - going to be a surprise
Feb 22 - obgyn appt. all good
March 22 - obgyn appt. u/s scheduled for March 28
March 28 u/s - all looks good
July 2011 - Baby Girl !! 7lbs 13 ozs by C section

FET #1
Started Lupron August 16/12
Aug 31/12 - u/s and endo biopsy
Sept 1/12 - estrace and aspirin and continue Lupron
Sept 11/12 - u/s - hoping last Lupron Sept 13 and start endomitrin
FET Sept 19/12 - two 5 day blasts transferred
Oct 3 - BFN

FET scheduled for Nov 23
cancelled due to death in immediate family



FET - March 28 (same protocol as FET#1)

BETA - April 10 - BFN Our journey has come to an end - Fortunate that we were blessed with DD