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York Hospital: First baby of 2019 'doing well' after being born at only 25 weeks

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Mary McDannell, 24, of Adams County, looks at her newborn son, Liam McDannell, in the neonatal intensive care unit at York Hospital. Liam, born at only 25 weeks gestation, was the first baby born in 2019 in York County.

Mary McDannell hadn't planned on delivering her son for several more weeks, but the first-time mother welcomed a baby into the world on New Year's Day.

"We didn't think we'd have the first new year's baby," McDannell said.

McDannell, 24, of Adams County, delivered her son, Liam McDannell, via emergency cesarean section at 8:55 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at York Hospital. He was the first baby born in 2019 in York County.

Liam was born at 25 weeks gestation, 15 weeks earlier than average, weighing only 1 pound, 10 ounces and measuring 12 inches long. He's currently in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

Despite his early arrival, both Liam and his mother are doing well, said hospital spokesman Ryan Coyle.

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Ryan Coyle, spokesman for York Hospital, holds a typical newborn-sized diaper, left, next to a diaper sized for a premature baby. The first baby born in York County in 2019 was 15 weeks early.

McDannell said she knew Liam might be born early due to complications she experienced during pregnancy, but after she heard his first cry, there was a huge feeling of relief knowing he was OK.

Liam's father, James Brown, 28, of Huntingdon County, agreed.

When McDannell realized the baby might be coming, she first went to the emergency room at Gettysburg Hospital, but doctors transferred her to York Hospital to be near the facility's neonatal intensive care unit.

Mary McDannell, 24, of Adams County, and James Brown, 28, of Huntingdon County, welcomed their son, Liam McDannell, into the world on Jan. 1, 2019 at York Hospital. Liam was the first baby born in York County in the new year.

The young parents were able to sit with their son in the NICU for a while after he was born. McDannell said it was "amazing" being able to see him in person.

"You just learn so much more about him and his personality," she said, "like how he likes to rest his hand on his chin already, and how he's so strong for being so small."