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National Embryo Donation Center celebrates thousandth embryo birth

The National Embryo Donation Center said it has reached a milestone it believes no other embryo center in the world has.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Editor's Note: Watch the full story on Friday's 10News Nightbeat at 11 It will be posted later on this story.

According to the National Embryo Donation Center, the birth of Emmie Sue Brookhart is the 1,000th baby born from an embryo from their center. It is a milestone they believe they are the first center in the world to reach.

"The milestone is an extremely bright and happy one," director Dr. Jeffrey Keenan said. "It proves what a tremendous opportunity this is for the embryo donor and recipients. 

The center is a donation and adoption facility, which Dr. John Gordon said is needed across the United States.

"It's estimated that there are 1.4 million frozen embryos in the country that number goes up by 18 percent every year," he said. 

The 1000th baby went home with Ashley and Josh Brookhart.

Credit: WBIR

"We struggled with infertility for a while that took a long time," Josh said. "We had a couple attempts, we had a match but that fell through last minute so that was devastating."

They later found out about the National Embryo Center and decided to give it a try.

"We wanted to start a family and start that chapter in our lives," Josh said.

After contacting the center, they said everything moved quickly.

"We contacted them in October, had our first visit by December and were pregnant by February," Ashley said. 

On October 18th at 8:29 in the morning, Emmie Sue Brookhart was born and her parents were over the moon.

"Here she is, she comes out and she has hair and chubby cheeks," Ashley added. 

Little Emmie is only a little over 12 days old. But her parents said they are just happy to finally see her face.

"We're just glad to see her and hold her and see what has been happening inside of me for the last nine months," she said. 

For Dr. Gordon, moments like these are what make it all worth it.

"Some people don't even know that this is an option," he said. "For people to know that this is a path for them, that's huge."

Credit: WBIR