Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | January 2, 2009
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'Thankful for the gift of life'

Shaneka Welcome smiles with her newborn baby girl, Carissa Chung, the first baby born at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine in 2009. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Spanish Town, St Catherine:

Carissa Cecilia Chung came into the world about 1:15 a.m. yesterday, making her mother Shaneka Welcome the first woman to give birth in the maternity ward at the Spanish Town Hospital, St Catherine, in the new year.

When The Gleaner visited the hospital, 24-year-old Welcome beamed with pride as she held 2.77 kg Carissa.

Welcome was the most celebrated of the 38 mothers on the ward, receiving gift baskets from Cheekies, Lasco Distributors and the Registrar General's Department.

"It is a great feeling to have a safe delivery," said Sister Jannette Graham, coordinator of the maternity department. "No words are adequate to explain the fulfilment, and, for Miss Welcome, we share her joy."

In her response Welcome, who is from Brown's Town district in Point Hill, St Catherine, said: "I am thankful for the gifts, especially the gift of life. It is a great feeling, one I will never forget."

The ward, which opened in 1999, saw 583 successful deliveries in 2008.

It is a great feeling to have a safe delivery ... No words are adequate to explain the fulfilment and, for Miss Welcome, we share her joy.

- Sister Jannette Graham

Salomie Trudy Steadman, from Duckenfield, Golden Grove, gave birth at 6:44 a.m. to the first child born in the new year 2009 at the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas. She was delivered by registered nurse and midwife, Paulette Daley White. Daley said Steadman gave birth one hour after admission to the ward. The baby boy weighed 2.88 kilograms and both mother and child were doing well. Twenty-five-year-old Steadman is not new to motherhood, as she already has four children. - Photo by Marlene MacPherson

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