Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

First test tube baby's mother dies

Lesley Brown (left), mother of the world's first test tube baby Louise, seen here in 2008 with grandson Cameron

The woman who gave birth to the world's first test tube baby has died.

Lesley Brown, who lived in Whitchurch, Bristol, made history in July 1978 when her daughter, Louise, was born in 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 successfully conceived following pioneering treatment by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, with the birth making headlines around the world.

The 64-year-old died with her family at her side at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on June 6 following a short illness.

She leaves behind stepdaughter Sharon and daughters Louise and Natalie, who were both born following IVF treatment, and five grandchildren. Her husband died five years ago. The family attended a private funeral service in Bristol.

Daughter Louise 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."

Speaking on behalf of Professor Robert Edwards and the team at Bourn Hall 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."

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