Sad Loss Of Lesley Brown – First IVF Mother

Lesley Brown, mother of the world's first 'test-tube' babyIt is with great sadness that we hear that Lesley Brown, the first woman in the world to successfully give birth following IVF treatment, has died at the age of 64.

Mrs Brown, who lived in Whitchurch, Bristol, made history in July 1978 when her daughter Louise Brown was born in Oldham General Hospital.

Mrs Brown successfully conceived following pioneering treatment by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards with the birth making headlines around the world.

She died at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on 6th June 2012 following a short illness. She left step-daughter Sharon and daughters Louise and Natalie, who were both born following IVF treatment, and five grandchildren. Her husband, John, had passed away five years previously.

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.”

Following the birth of Louise, Steptoe and Edwards established the world’s first IVF clinic at Bourn Hall.  Over 12,600 babies have been born following treatment at the clinic.

Speaking on behalf of Professor Robert Edwards and the team at Bourn Hall Clinic, Mike Macamee, CEO, said: “Lesley was a devoted mum and grandmother and through her bravery and determination many millions of women worldwide have been given the chance to become mothers. She was a lovely gentle lady and we will all remember her with deep affection.”

Professor Edwards with Lesley, her daughter Louise and grandson Cameron at Bourn Hall Clinic in 2008.
Professor Edwards with Lesley, her daughter Louise and grandson Cameron at Bourn Hall Clinic in 2008.

More information

Read more about the history of IVF and Bourn Hall here.

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