Sir Robert Edwards, who died yesterday aged 87, was the inspirational scientist who, with his colleague Patrick Steptoe, pioneered IVF treatment. Together they brought hope and happiness to millions
of women who cried themselves to sleep at night, despairing of ever holding their own baby in their arms.
It was back in July 1978 when the first "test-tube baby" (thank goodness we
have dropped that terminology!) was born - Louise Brown who now has the joy of a child of her own. It had not been a quick or easy route to success: Robert Edwards started his work on human conception back in the mid-1950s. He was passionately committed
to his search: "Nothing is more special than a child," he is quoted as saying.
Today, around 180,000 precious babies are born in Britain every year, thanks to IVF. In the nearly 35 years
since Lesley Brown gave birth to her "lovely Louise", more than 5 million IVF babies have been born world-wide.
That's Five Million Thank Yous to Sir Robert Edwards, the man who made it possible
for dreams to come true.