First “IVF Baby” in Croatia Celebrates 35th Birthday

Total Croatia News

The IVF procedure in Zagreb was performed just five years after the world’s first procedure in Great Britain.

Robert Veriga has celebrated his 35th birthday. He was the first baby conceived by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in Croatia, reports Večernji List on October 24, 2018.

The Roda Association used its Facebook profile to congratulate him on the birthday. It said that Veriga was just the seventh baby in the world born after such a procedure for infertility treatment.

“We can only imagine the courage of his mother, Dragica, who accepted all the risks of the then uncertain, experimental and painful infertility treatment, with very little prospects for a positive outcome,” the association wrote in its post.

According to the media, Robert’s parents Dragica and Josip were trying to have a baby for six years, but they were unsuccessful. They had more luck with medically assisted fertilisation and Robert was conceived from the very first attempt. The media described the medical conditions at that time as modest and said they could not measure up to the world standards.

The effort was called “an experiment by physicians from Zagreb which brought them to the top of global medical achievements.” Robert was conceived thanks to efforts by Dr Velimir Šimunić and his team. Interestingly, Šimunić was also Robert’s godfather.

In an interview, Robert said he liked to play guitar, take photos and play table tennis with his friends in the garage when he was younger. In elementary school, he practiced basketball and taekwondo and had great results in mathematics and physics. He even took part in school competitions in these two subjects. In addition to numbers, he also likes animals. When he was still in the kindergarten, he adopted a small snail and made a home for it out of a shoebox.

He described himself as a naughty child and remembered an incident from the island of Cres. “While the parents were unloading our bags, I disappeared. They searched for me everywhere and eventually found me in the local movie theatre. I was only four years old and I have no idea how I got there. They were very worried.”

In July this year, the first IVF born in the world – Louise Brown – celebrated her 40th birthday.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Iva Kordić).


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