Bartlett Regional Hospital welcomed its first baby of the new year on Tuesday morning.
Madelynn Rose McCallister, weighing 9.4 pounds, was born to Alexus Forehand and Kevin McCallister of Skagway at 7:50 a.m. on Jan. 5, the hospital announced.
“We got here to the hospital here at 5 a.m yesterday morning. The hospital is great over here,” said McCallister in a phone interview on Tuesday. “They took care of everything here.”
Madelynn will join sister Rayelynn, 3, and brother Cameron, 2 who moved with their parents from Athens, Georgia. McCallister said conditions down south led them to Alaska. The birth took 26 hours, McCallister said.
“We decided to follow a dream and move to Alaska,” McCallister said. “We love it up here. It’s a dream come true.”
In a BRH tradition, Bausler said, the couple and their newborn received a boat-shaped wooden rocker, handcrafted by Dr. Lindy Jones, medical director of BRH’s emergency department. They will be the fourth family to receive the boat, which is filled with toys and baby clothes, Bausler said.
“It’s awesome,” McCallister said. “They walked this thing in and I thought ‘it’s almost like Christmas.’ There aren’t ever words to describe it.”
The family hoped to return home to Skagway with their youngest as soon as they’re cleared by BRH, McCallister said.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.