Hawaii's first test tube baby turning 30 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's first test tube baby turning 30

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In December of 1985, Jacqui Low was born, the child of James and Janice and Hawaii's first offspring of science.

"Even people who have kids now and they didn't have to go through In Vitro, they feel just how special it is. A lot of people know somebody who's had trouble conceiving," she said.

Jacqui's parents couldn't conceive naturally.

"To hope for so long to have a child, six years we were married before she came along," Janice Low said.

In 1985 In Vitro Fertilization in Hawaii was just beginning.

"We were thrilled when she was born," Dr. Carl Morton said.

Morton and his colleagues opened the Pacific In Vitro Fertilization Institute in 1985. The Lows underwent the procedure where a woman's eggs are removed, fertilized then replaced.

"We had one of the shortest times from the inception of the program until the first baby was born," Morton said. "Jacqui's parents came to us in March and she was born in December."

Jacqui grew up and graduated from Iolani then the University of Oregon. She holds a Master's degree and works at a staffing agency. What brought about her birth is decades in the past but never far from her thoughts.

"It was always just a blessing. It was always a blessing," she said.

A lot of Hawaii families have followed in her family's footsteps.

"The first time that we had a get together I think it was about 200. And now they're in the thousands," James Low said.

"We've had at least 4,500 born through our office. It's amazing," Morton said.

In 1985 the success rate for In Vitro Fertilization was 20 percent. Today it's 50 or better.

"Just being the first in Hawaii and launching that program, it does feel very special." Jacqui said. "But I have to say it wasn't a lot that I did."

Jacqui's now married and plans to someday have her own kids. On December 20, she celebrates her 30th birthday.


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