A miracle baby was technically 27 years old when she was born and just 18 months younger than her mum thanks to the wonders of science. Molly Everette Gibson was born using an embryo frozen in October 1992 – only 18 months after her mother, Tina, now 29, was born in April 1991.
'Miracle Molly' broke the previous record held by her sister, Emma Wren, who spent 24 years as an embryo on ice before she was born in November 2017. Both full genetic embryos were frozen together and transferred to Tina's uterus three years apart. New mum Tina told the New York Post: "It's hard to wrap your head around it, but as far as we're concerned, Molly is our little miracle."
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Researchers at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, say Molly enters the history books as the longest-frozen embryo known to result in a live birth. Lab director of the National Embryo Donation Centre Carol Sommerfelt said: "It was very rewarding for me to see an embryo that was frozen years ago result in the birth of a lovely baby. I feel honoured to be part of the process."
Tina and husband Benjamin have been married for 10 years and had previously fostered children before considering traditional adoption. However, in early 2017, Tina's parents told her about the non-profit organisation aimed at helping women conceive with a donor embryo. Despite initially brushing off the idea, Tina said she and Benjamin 'couldn't get it out of their minds'. Eventually, they visited the NEDC and were presented with profiles of around 300 strangers who had donated spare embryos following IVF treatments.
Tina added: "We weren't picky, we just wanted a baby."
They narrowed down their choices to donating couples who were short in stature before looking into health backgrounds. On the day of her first embryo transfer with Emma, Tina was amazed to be told it had been frozen for 24 years. When Tina and her husband decided to give Emma a sibling they said it was a no-brainer opting for an embryo from the same donors.
Dr Sommerfelt, who supervised the delicate thawing process of both embryos, said: "As long as the embryos are maintained correctly in the liquid nitrogen storage tank at -396 degrees, we feel they may be good indefinitely."