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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Frozen Triplet Survives 13yrs at -235 degrees C

After 13 years as twins, now they're triplets

A HEALTHY baby girl has been born in California after spending 13 years as an embryo frozen at -235C.

In a remarkable twist to an already remarkable case, Laina Beasley is a triplet because she was conceived at the same time, by the same parents, as her two 13-year-old siblings.


In the 1990s, Ms Beasley discovered that her doctor - Ricardo Asch, at the University of California, Irvine - had taken eggs and embryos from patients without their knowledge and implanted them in other women or given them to research.

The clinic was shut down and Dr Asch was indicted, although he avoided prosecution by leaving the country. The Beasleys managed to save eight of the 12 embryos they knew about; they were told that some had been sent to the East Coast of the US for experiments.

The Beasleys, strict Christians, planned to use all their embryos to produce children. "There has never been any question in my mind. The embryos were frozen at the two-cell stage and that was still life," Ms Beasley told the Chronicle.

"To this day, we still don't know what happened to those (missing) embryos. It took a lot of years and a lot of counselling to accept that."


"As soon as he (Dr Katz) took the catheter out, I put my hand over my lower abdomen and said, 'Welcome home'," Ms Beasley said. "They had been in this cold place for so long. Now it was over. Whether God took them to heaven or they became babies, it was OK. I had waited so long to get to that point. It was finally full closure."

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