21 Jun 2012

First test tube baby's mother dies

6:12 am on 21 June 2012

The woman who gave birth to the world's first test-tube baby has died at the age of 64.

Lesley Brown, who lived in the English city of Bristol, made history in July 1978 when her daughter Louise was born.

She had successfully conceived after IVF treatment by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, and the birth made headlines around the world.

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.

The technology pioneered then, in which egg cells are fertilised outside the body and implanted in the womb, has since led to the birth of millions of babies.

The 64-year-old died with her family at her side at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on 6 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.

Louise Brown said her mother was a very quiet and private person who ended up in the world spotlight because she wanted a family so much.