The life of almost six-month-old Xavier Powell has been 23 years in the making.
The ‘world’s oldest baby’ was conceived through IVF treatment using the sperm his father, Alex Powell, froze before undergoing treatment for cancer at the age of 15.
It is the oldest sperm in history used to successfully conceive a child through IVF.
In the early 1990s, Mr Powell was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and told to undergo chemotherapy treatment immediately.
But a fluke encounter on a train for his stepmother, Patricia Powell, the same morning he was diagnosed would not only change Mr Powell’s life but lead to the birth of his son 23 years later.
A woman was sitting with a young, small boy on the train and Patricia commented on his size, to which the woman responded that her son had undergone radio therapy treatment and it had stunted his growth plate – he was actually 18, Patricia said.
It got her thinking about what other side effects the lifesaving cancer treatments can cause, including infertility.
She urged the then teenage Mr Powell to freeze his sperm for the future and red-faced, he headed to the sperm bank to make his deposit.
‘It involved a very clinical situation mixed with a very personal situation and um…very awkward moments,’ he said.
Patricia said she went with him and became concerned when he was in the room for a long time but he finally emerged with the container in his right hand and a puzzled expression, saying that he didn’t know what to do next.
In late 2013, he and Vi began trying to have a baby, using his sperm in IVF treatments.
Mr Powell said he was worried about using the sperm that had been stores away for so long.
‘There was a bit of nervousness – when they bring those guys out what’s going to happen? Are they all going to turn left?’ he said.
It took one year of treatments to conceive and Xavier was born on June 17.
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