RPH’s first baby of ’99 born Jan. 3

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 11, 1999

By MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / January 11, 1999

LAPLACE – The new year began in the most memorable way for Clayton Jr. and Sherry Mareno of Boothville with the birth of their first child on Jan. 3. It became even more memorable when they learned that Clayton J.Mareno III was the first baby born at River Parishes Hospital in 1999.

The Marenos left their home in Boothville at 3:22 p.m. on Saturday andmade it to the hospital at 5 p.m., just when Sherry started having laborpains. Clayton, 7 pounds, 4.7 ounces and 20 inches long, was introduced tothe world at 2:31 a.m.”It was wonderful,” Sherry Mareno said. “It was very exciting. I am justhappy to be a mother.”Because the first birth at the hospital did not come until the early morning hours of Jan. 3, the attending physicians and nurses did notrealize it was indeed the first. Sherry and Clayton found out the day theywere getting ready to leave the hospital.

“It makes it even more special,” Sherry said.

Dr. R. Royce Sistrunk delivered the baby. He said he has been deliveringbabies for 35 years and this one meant the most because the couple came all the way from Boothville. He said they did it all through the pre-natalcare as well.

“It still thrills me to deliver one, and I hope it always will,” Sistrunk said.

Sherry Mareno said Sistrunk was a major reason they drove all that distance to have their first child.

“Dr. Sistrunk was well worth the drive,” Sherry said. “He is the best. I amvery happy with him with what he brought out into the world – my little angel.”Clayton had the child’s first outfit ready for him, a hunter’s outfit complete with a cap and pockets.

“Daddy’s little hunter,” Sherry said.

River Parishes Hospital had a near-record number of births toward the end of 1998, making the holidays even more exciting.

“It made the hospitals more special having so many deliveries,” Joleen Hays, nurse manager for the hospital’s Center for Family Beginnings, said.

The Marenos were given a $100 gift certificate to Wal-Mart by the hospital. Marketing director Sean Roussel said he wants to get more localmerchants involved next year in giving gifts to the first born baby.

“We want to make it our baby as well,” Roussel said. “It makes it evenmore fun when we can share in the excitement.”

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