Emma Wren, weighing 6 lbs. 8 oz. and measuring 20 inches long, has been born on November 25 to the Gibson family from Tennessee, Standard Newswire reports. It would have been an ordinary birth, if only the baby has not been frozen for 24 years.
Emma has been frozen on October 14, 1992 and thawed by NEDC Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt on March 13, 2017, the website tells. The embryo has been transferred to Tina Gibson via frozen embryo transfer (FET) procedure. This makes Emma the holder of the world record for being frozen as embryo for the longest time ever.
"Emma is such a sweet miracle," the father, Benjamin Gibson, said. "I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago."
Emma Wren was born to Benjamin and Tina Gibson on Nov. 25.— WTOL 11 (@WTOL11Toledo) 20 декабря 2017 г.
She is now the record-holder for longest-frozen embryo to come to birth, according to the research staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library — https://t.co/TASXX50Lku pic.twitter.com/x4hAuEJmho
The most interesting fact in this story is that Emma is, strictly speaking, only 1.5 years younger than her mother.
"Do you realize I'm only 25? This embryo and I could have been best friends," Tina told the doctor at the time of conception, according to CNN report.
According to the happy mother, she was not concerned about getting a scientific world record when she decided to go for FET procedure.
"I just wanted a baby. I don't care if it's a world record or not," she told reporters.
Some scientists question the world record status of the embryo, though.
Dr. Zaher Merhi, director of IVF research and development at New Hope Fertility Center, points out that American companies are not obliged to report the age of an embryo used in the transfer to the government, only the outcome of the pregnancy.
"Identifying the oldest known embryo is simply an impossibility," he says, pointing out that "nobody has these records."
But the performers of the transfer are eager to defend their record.
"We had our medical library, which is very good at finding things, look to see if they could find anything older than that and they could not," Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, who performed the embryo transfer, told NBC News
"I think it is probably fair to say if it is not the oldest, it would be among the oldest," says Dr. David Adamson, CEO of Arc Fertility in San Jose, California.
"I'm not personally aware of a medical report where an older embryo has resulted in a live birth," he added.