Mother of World’s first Test Tube Baby – Remembering Lesley Brown

Lesley Brown – Mother of world’s first Test Tube baby is no more. Lesley Brown not only made history on July 22, 1978 when her daughter “Louise Joy Brown” was born following in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment; she also brought hope for thousands of childless couples across the world. Lesley Brown died on June 6 at the age of 64 in UK.

Bourn Hall Clinic, in the village of Bourn five miles west of Cambridge, was the world's first 'test-tube baby' clinic.

Bourn Hall Clinic, in the village of Bourn five miles west of Cambridge, was the world’s first ‘test-tube baby’ clinic.

Bourn Hall – world’s first IVF clinic was setup by scientist Dr Robert Edward and gynaecologist Dr Patrick Steptoe in Cambridge during in 1970s. Lesley Brown who had been unable to conceive for nine years due to blocked Fallopian tubes successfully conceived following treatment by Edwards and Patrick Steptoe. What proves the success of IVF is that the second daughter of Lesley Brown – Natalie was also conceived via IVF treatment.

Before Lesley Brown more than 80 pregnancies resulting from IVF procedures had lasted only a few weeks. Lesley Brown’s case was successful and history was made. Over the period of time the technology has evolved and improved. As we know that the success rate of eggs fertilized by IVF leading to the birth of a child are between 20% to 30%. Robert Edwards the pioneer of the IVF process won the Nobel prize for medicine in 2010.

For all of us in the IVF world the death of Lesley Brown has been a sad new. We are with family – Louise Joy Brown and Natalie. And we hope that the story of Lesley Brown will keep giving hope to childless couples across the world.