‘Lovely little lady’ welcomed as living proof of team efforts

A warm welcome awaited baby Olivia Glennon and her parents, Sky News editor Emily Deeker and BBC Points West’s Will Glennon, at the official opening of Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine’s (BCRM’s) new clinic at Aztec West on Saturday, exactly nine months after her birth.

Emily Deeker told guests: “This is Olivia, formerly known as our last but one embryo. And as transfer number 11. And for a while as 4BC. A blastocyst graded as decent quality, which stood a reasonable chance of becoming our baby.

“Now that we know her, I’m sure you’ll agree, we had to upgrade her to an A*”

As Will Glennon cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the clinic, he added: “Olivia is the real-life embodiment of the saying ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’.

“In total we had 11 embryo transfers at BCRM. That’s not a number we expected to have to endure to get our little family and it’s not typical, or what you should expect if you’re here today as current or prospective patients.

“We tell you because we’re proud of how long we fought to have her without ever giving up, but also because it gives you an idea of how highly we regard this clinic. Just as we never gave up, neither did the team here. They cared, they considered, and they kept going. And we never thought about going anywhere else.

“As our patient file grew bigger over the years, so did our fondness for this clinic and so did our belief that if anyone was going to be able to get us over the line and make us a mum and dad, it was Valentine Akande and his team.”

BCRM’s medical director and lead consultant, Valentine Akande, said: “It is always a privilege to help people who are struggling to have a baby achieve their dream, and it’s fantastic to have this lovely little lady – living proof of our team efforts – here with us today to help us celebrate.

“When infertility strikes it doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor and we are here to serve all infertile patients, not just those who are able to pay. This matters to us. We are equally proud to be making great strides on providing treatment to a wider range of families including single women and same sex couples.”

Valentine Akande also paid tribute to his team for the work they put into making a success of the clinic’s relocation: “Building a new clinic during the throes of Covid and uncertainty has been a challenge, but we succeeded through the magnificent efforts of our wonderful team and support from patients which allowed us to continue to deliver the excellent service and success rates we are known for.

“Our investments in technology keep us at the forefront of our field but let’s never forget that whilst technology helps, BCRM has always been fundamentally about the people.

“We’ve had the wonderful privilege of working amazing colleagues, many working late and making extra sacrifices for the benefit of patients. It is the profound recognition that we can help change the lives of many that makes us come to work each day.”

Sessions arranged for guests who attended the opening ceremony included a history of IVF presented by the world’s first test-tube baby, Bristol’s Louise Brown, and other presentations on different aspects of fertility treatment as well as tours to illustrate the high-tech work done in the embryology lab. 

BCRM is the longest established fertility clinic in Bristol, helping people from throughout the South West and Wales with fertility treatment for both private and NHS patients. The clinic is involved in innovative research and has one of the best success rates with IVF and other fertility treatments in the UK.


Left to right: Will, Olivia and Emily Glennon