Tina Gibson, of Tennessee, gave birth to a baby who had been frozen for more than 24 years as an embryo. Emma Wren, the baby, is the longest known frozen human embryo to come to birth.
On Tuesday, the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) announced that Emma was born on Nov. 25 to Gibson, who is 26. This means Gibson carried an embryo that was conceived about 18 months after she herself was born.
“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” Benjamin Gibson, Tina’s husband, said. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”
At birth, Emma weighed 6 lbs., 8oz. and was approximately 20 inches long.
Emma was cryopreserved in 1992. As an embryo, she was placed in Tina’s uterus through “frozen embryo transfer” earlier this year. The director of NEDC, Dr. Jeffrey Kennan, said he hoped Emma’s story inspires others to donate their embryos, especially to help families in need.
“It is deeply moving and highly rewarding to see that embryos frozen 24.5 years ago using the old, early cryopreservation techniques of slow freezing on day one of development at the pronuclear stage can result in 100 percent survival of the embryos with a 100 percent continued proper development to the Day-3 embryo stage,” said NEDC Lab Director, Carol Sommerfelt.
According to NEDC, nearly 700 pregnancies have been possible thanks to the center’s adoption program, which has received donated embryos from across the United States.
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