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Story by Marcy Sanchez
Ryan James Dougherty, son of Sgt. Robert N. Dougherty, a motor transport operator with 377th Transportation Company, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade and his wife Katie M. Dougherty, was the first baby delivered at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in 2016. With a time of birth recorded of 12:07 a.m., Jan. 1, Ryan was not only the first newborn at WBAMC but also the first newborn of the city of El Paso, Texas for 2016.
“It’s completely shocking to us that he came at that one time we were hoping he would come before,” said Sgt. Robert Dougherty. “We wanted him to be born on the 31st because it was [Katie’s] grandmother’s birthday.”
Katie Dougherty was admitted to WBAMC at approximately 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 31st after having contractions since midnight the day before. Katie’s due date was estimated for Dec. 30th so it was surprising to the couple that Ryan was the first baby of the New Year in El Paso, Texas.
The birth of his first son was particularly special to Sgt. Robert Dougherty as he had been deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom during the birth of his daughter Kylie.
“It’s amazing just being able to experience it with her and be here to support her is a lot better than being so far away,” said Sgt. Robert Dougherty. “When I was over there I couldn’t do anything, I was just waiting on a message.”
Ryan joins the Dougherty family as their first son and second child; the family also includes 3-year-old daughter, Kylie, who was also born at WBAMC.
“I’ve never [delivered] the first New Year’s Baby, it’s exciting,” said Tammy Prophet, a registered nurse at WBAMC whom helped deliver Ryan and has been delivering newborns for 15 years. “The whole country will celebrate his birthday every year, it’s a special baby to have and we all get excited about the New Year’s Baby.”
Although exceptionally busy throughout the New Year night, WBAMC staff was still able to welcome Ryan with a gift basket made possible by donations from hospital volunteers.
“We’re happy with the care and we’re happy he’s healthy and here,” said Katie Dougherty, 24 of Chicopee, Massachusetts.
The Dougherty’s said they were surprised that Ryan was the city’s first baby of the New Year because of the number of patients admitted to the medical center’s Labor and Delivery ward on New Year’s Eve.
“[WBAMC] took care of everything we needed,” said the 29-year-old sergeant, also from Chicopee, Massachusetts. “[WBAMC] helped [Katie] out with everything she’s needed.”
“We are happy that WBAMC was blessed with the firstborn of 2016 in the El Paso area,” said Col. John A. Smyrski III, commander, WBAMC. “We look forward to 2016 being the year that WBAMC solidifies its position as the flagship of Army Medicine.”