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America's first 'test-tube baby' turns 40

Elizabeth Carr is celebrating her 40th birthday on December 28, 2021.

NORFOLK, Va. — December 28, 1981: it was a history-making day for science, and it happened right in our backyard.

It was the day Elizabeth Carr became the first baby born in the U.S. from in vitro fertilization (IVF). The procedure -- actually using a petri dish and not a "test-tube" -- took place at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Elizabeth was delivered at Norfolk General Hospital.

Cameras, including ours here at 13News Now, have followed the Massachusetts family ever since.

We caught up with Elizabeth in 1997 shortly before her sweet 16 birthday.

“I want to drive! That’s all I want to do right now is drive,” said Carr in 1997.

We interviewed Elizabeth again in 2008 when she returned to EVMS to reunite with the late Dr. Howard Jones. He and his wife, Dr. Georgeanna Jones, pioneered IVF in the United States.

Today, more than a million babies have been born through IVF in the U.S. and the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine is still going strong at EVMS.

As for Elizabeth, she is now a health journalist, author, and mother of an 11-year-old son.

She’s also looking back and celebrating 40 years of health and happiness, thanks to groundbreaking science in 1981.

For her birthday, Elizabeth is hoping to raise $40,000 for the national infertility association, "Resolve".

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