Lesley Brown Dies: First Mother of Test Tube Baby

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By Emma Koonse , Christian Post Reporter
June 21, 2012|2:29 pm

The first woman to bear a child via in vitro fertilization, Lesley Brown, died at age 64 earlier this month.

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After nine years of trying to have a baby, Brown and her husband John made history in 1978 when her daughter Louise was born through IVF.

The Brown family revealed Lesley's June 6 death this week, citing a short illness as the cause.

"Mum was a very quiet and private person who ended up in the world spotlight because she wanted a family so much," Louise, speaking on behalf of her family, told the Telegraph. "We are all missing her terribly."

Weighing five pounds and 12 ounces, baby Louise captured the attention of the world after her caesarean birth 34 years ago at Oldham General Hospital in the U.K.

With the help of Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Nobel Prize-winner Professor Robert Edwards, the Browns were able to conceive their child, paving the way for millions of couples to have children via fertility treatment.

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Brown was unable to become pregnant naturally due to blocked fallopian tubes. During IVF, a woman's eggs are fertilized with sperm outside of the body and then implanted into the womb.

Four years later, Brown went on to have a second child, Natalie, also through IVF.

The pioneer for IVF has received many tributes following her death. A representative for Professor Edwards commented on Brown.

"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," said the rep, according to the Daily Mail.

On Twitter, users are also posting their respects for Brown.

"IVF moms, you owe your family to Lesley Brown," wrote Mommyish.com. "The first lady to successfully conceive with IVF."

"Her fortitude and bravery were inspirational," posted Columbia Fertility.

Simon posted, "Really sad to hear of Lesley Brown's death."

Brown is survived by her daughters as well as her stepdaughter Sharon from her husband's first marriage, and five grandchildren. Her husband John died five years ago.

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