First ‘test-tube’ baby meets Bourn Hall babies to celebrate 5 years at Essex clinic

An IVF baby for each of the years that Bourn Hall’s Essex clinic has been open came to celebrate the clinic’s 5th anniversary with the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown. Louise is always delighted to meet families created by IVF.

“The pioneering team that brought about my birth in 1978 gave hope to infertile couples all over the world,” said Louise. “There are now more than 12 million IVF babies in the world.

“By founding Bourn Hall, the world’s first IVF clinic, Bob Edwards and Patrick Steptoe started methods that are now used worldwide.

“It is very special to be part of the fifth anniversary of Bourn Hall in Wickford and I enjoyed meeting some of the babies that have brought joy to Essex families in the last five years.”

Making families

Dr Arpita Ray, Lead Clinician of Bourn Hall Essex, says her motivation each day is to help her patients realise their dream of a baby. She says: “Our knowledge has increased significantly since those early days. We are now able to treat many different types of infertility and we are celebrating that today.”

Bourn Hall used its wealth of expertise to design a full-service clinic for Essex in Wickford. It opened in 2018 to provide a one-stop location for fertility advice, testing and treatment, and this year opened a new Miscarriage Clinic. The Wickford clinic is complemented by a satellite clinic in Colchester, so patients don’t need to travel far for appointments. The success rates are excellent: 54% of those that started treatment in 2022 now have a baby or ongoing pregnancy.

Don’t delay

Dr Ray continues: “I am also delighted that, from April 2023, all Essex couples who meet the NHS eligibility criteria are being given the chance of IVF fertility treatment. I hope this will encourage more people that want a child not to delay seeking advice and support.”

Louise agrees: “My mum and dad tried unsuccessfully for nine years to have a baby until the breakthrough experiment that led to my birth. They then went on to have my sister Natalie thanks to Bourn Hall. The challenges they faced those years ago are still the same as people going through a fertility journey today.”

Find out more about IVF in Essex and Bourn Hall’s Wickford clinic on our Clinics page, and read stories on our blog.

Arpita, Thanos and Louise Brown at Wickford's 5th birthday
Dr Arpita Ray and Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, CEO and Medical Director, celebrate the 5th birthday of Bourn Hall Wickford with Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby

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