The medical world has lost one of its most valuable assets in reproductive medicine. Dr. Howard Jones, who made the first experiment with in vitro fertilization, died on Friday, July 31st at a hospital in Virginia, at 104 years old.
Representatives of Eastern Virginia Medical School said that his death was caused by respiratory failure. He was surrounded by his family and friends when he gave his last breath.
Dr. Jones, along with this late wife, Dr. Georgeanna Jones, worked at Eastern Virginia Medical School and made it possible to bring to the world the first child born as a result of in vitro fertilization in the United States in 1981.
This represented a massive breakthrough in reproductive medicine and, ever since then, 5 million babies have been born as a result of this procedure.
The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School was named after the couple, as a way to honor their name.
The two amazing doctors were extremely involved in the lives of their patients and used to invite families who had been helped by the institute to join them on Mother’s Day. Over the years, hundreds of families stood by their side during these events.
It was estimated that about 4,000 babies were born with the institute’s help. In Vitro fertilization gave hope to many families who tried to have children and soon became popular all over the world.
“He and Dr. Georgeanna revolutionized how we care for women with infertility problems. Everywhere you look around the world you can see Howard and Georgeanna Jones in the fellows they trained, in the discoveries they made and in the countless patients they impacted,” said Dr. Alfred Abuhamad, who was one of Jones’ colleagues at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Dr. Georgeanna Jones died in 2005, when she was 92 years old. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, but her husband took care of her and stood by her side until she gave her last breath. They were married for 65 years and he would often said that marrying her was his biggest accomplishment.
Dr. Howard Jones was so dedicated to his profession that he went on working at the institute even after he was 100 years old. His free time was not only dedicated to studies but also to writing, as he managed to write 12 books. The last one, “In Vitro Fertilization Comes to America: Memoir of a Medical Breakthrough,” was published last autumn.
He is also well known for his work in treating cervical cancer. He was able to establish the centers to treat this type of cancer and was one of the doctors who helped treat Henrietta Lacks, a cervical cancer patient, who became famous not only because she was the subject of a famous book, but also due to her cells , the “immortal” cell line that many doctors refer to as HeLa. They are now used in research work for various conditions.
Image Source: wtsp