TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -A woman in the US state of Tennessee has given birth to a girl who spent 24 years as a frozen embryo, setting a new world record for the longest-frozen embryo to successfully come to birth.
Tina Gibson gave birth to her daughter, Emma, on November 25 after the baby had been cryopreserved as an embryo for nearly a quarter century, according to a press release from the US National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) on Tuesday.
Emma was implanted into her 26-year-old mother's uterus in March through a process called frozen embryo transfer by the NEDC, which freezes embryos left over from in vitro fertilization and donates them to women who have trouble conceiving.
Tina’s husband, Benjamin, reportedly suffered from cystic fibrosis, a condition that commonly results in infertility. The couple had planned on adopting a child when they were informed of the embryo adoption.
Carol Sommerfelt, the NEDC lab director, recalled the moment she showed the couple a picture of the embryos at the time of transfer earlier this year.
"I will always remember what the Gibsons said when presented with the picture of their embryos,” she said.
“These embryos could have been my best friends,” Sommerfelt quoted Tina as saying.
The embryo was originally frozen in 1992, when Tina was just one year old.
“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,” Sommerfelt noted.
NEDC, which performs about 10 percent of all embryo adoption cycles in the US, said about 49 percent of embryonic transfers resulted in live births.
“I just wanted a baby. I don’t care if it’s a world record or not,” Tina said. "We're just so thankful and blessed. She's a precious Christmas gift from the Lord. We're just so grateful."
“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” Benjamin said of his daughter. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”