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55-Year-Old Gives Birth

September 9, 1987

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) _ A 55-year-old grandmother delivered a healthy boy Wednesday, becoming the oldest woman to give birth in Britain. The 65-year-old father said he was ″over the moon.″

Kathleen Campbell, who has six other children ranging in age from 16 to 22, gave birth by Caesarean section at Nottingham City Hospital, the hospital reported.

The baby, named Joby Isaac, weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces.

″Mother and baby are both fine and are now resting,″ a hospital official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. ″There were no complications.″

Mrs. Campbell, who was born in Ireland, was 55 years and 141 days old Wednesday. She and her husband, Sydney, a retired welder, live in Cotmanhay in central England. Their oldest child is 22.

The couple are grandparents, but the hospital was unable to say how many grandchildren they have.

The baby’s father rejoiced over the birth, saying: ″It wouldn’t have bothered me if it had been twins or triplets.″

He added: ″My youngest son is 16 years old now and the new baby will be something to have around the house.″

Previously, the record for the oldest woman to give birth in Britain was held by the late Winifred Wilson of Eccles in northwest England. She gave birth to her 10th child in 1936 at age 55 and three days, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Doctors had advised Mrs. Campbell that having a baby might endanger her life because she weighed 294 pounds and had high blood pressure. But during the pregnancy, she lost 70 pounds and her health improved.

Two out of every 1 million births in Britain are to women over 50. Menopause, the permanent cessation of menstruation, usually occurs between age 40 and 50.

According to the Guinness book, the oldest mother was Ruth Alice Kistler, who gave birth to a daughter at Glendale near Los Angeles on Oct. 18, 1956. She was 57 years and 129 days old.

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