A woman in East Tennessee has delivered the longest-frozen embryo to successfully be birthed – 24 years.
Emma Wren was born to Benjamin and Tina Gibson last month, weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.
Prior to being transferred into Tina’s uterus at the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville earlier this year, Emma was cryopreserved for more than 24 years. According to research staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, baby Emma now holds the record for the longest-frozen embryo to be birthed.
Emma was frozen Oct. 14, 1992, and thawed by NEDC Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt March 13, 2017. Tina became pregnant with Emma as the result of a frozen embryo transfer performed by the medical director of the clinic, Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, two day later. Tina, 26, spent her pregnancy carrying an embryo conceived just 18 months after her own birth.
“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” proud father Benjamin Gibson said. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”
“The NEDC has been privileged to work with the Gibsons to help them realize their dreams of becoming parents,” said Dr. Keenan. “We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos.”
The faith-based NEDC has gained distinction as the world’s leading comprehensive embryo adoption program, with more pregnancies (nearly 700) through embryo adoption than any other organization or clinic. Its dual purpose is to protect the lives and dignity of frozen embryos that would not be used by their genetic parents and to help other couples build the families they seek.
Embryos have been donated to the NEDC from all 50 states, and couples have traveled to Knoxville from all over the United States as well as some foreign countries for their embryo transfers.
Its website is embryodonation.org.