First IVF baby delighted by professor's Nobel Prize news
THE world's first test tube baby has welcomed the news that the pioneering professor who helped give her life has been awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Louise Mullinder, nee Brown, of Knowle West, was the first baby to be born using IVF technology 32 years ago.
Her birth was made possible after physiologist Professor Robert Edwards and gynaecological surgeon Patrick Steptoe developed the technique in which egg cells are fertilised outside the body and implanted in the womb.
Dr Steptoe died in 1988, but it was announced yesterday that Prof Edwards, now 85, had been given the Nobel Prize.
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Speaking to the Evening Post, Louise, who married Wesley Mullinder in 2004, said: "It is about time. We have been pushing for Prof Edwards to be knighted and things like that, and when I had the phone call to let me know totally out of the blue it was brilliant.
"He has helped so many different people and it is good to see that they have acknowledged that they do something really wonderful."
Mrs Mullinder, 32, was born on July 25, 1978, after her mother Lesley was referred to Dr Steptoe two years earlier.
She said the last time she saw Prof Edwards was when she turned 30 two years ago and there was a celebration at the IVF clinic he founded at Bourn Hall, near Cambridge.
He was unable to comment yesterday due to ill health, but two years ago said: "I think the whole thing is incredible.
"When I go round the world I say this family were ordinary people, they were people that worked in Bristol, they were not brilliant people like Nobel Prize winners or anything."
Mrs Mullinder, who has a three-year-old son Cameron, said: "I was ten when Patrick Steptoe died but I still remember bits and pieces about him. When I found out about the Nobel Prize I called mum and she felt the same as me – brilliant, it's about time."
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children released a statement yesterday saying that the Nobel Prize for IVF "was wrong".
But Mrs Mullinder dismissed their claims. She said: "I know there was controversy before I was born but it is proven now that it is the right thing to do."