Quebec welcomed its first bouncing baby of the New Year just two minutes past the stroke of midnight.
Mariella was born at 12:02 a.m. on New Year’s Day in the birthing centre of the Royal Victoria Hospital at the Glen site in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
It also appears Mariella was the first newborn of 2019 for all of Montreal after no other hospital came forward to report one of their babies was born earlier.
Mariella’s parents, Resi Olimpia Lachaine and Martin Lachaine of Montreal, donated their girl’s umbilical cord blood to the Public Cord Blood Bank of Héma-Québec.
The stem cells found in the cord blood will be used to develop a new transplant technique that may save the lives of adults suffering from leukemia or lymphoma, according to the MUHC.
“I’m on Cloud 9,” Martin Lachaine said Tuesday afternoon, as his wife and Mariella slept soundly. “It’s the most amazing experience. You don’t know how wonderful it is until it happens to you, I guess.”
“Mariella’s doing great,” he added. “She’s healthy, no issues.”
Dr. Dawn Johansson, who delivered Mariella, has collected cord blood for a decade at the MUHC.
“The stem cells are a very great anti-inflammatory product,” Johansson explained. “I think it’s a wonderful thing to donate umbilical cord blood. I encourage all my patients to do it.”
The parents of every newborn are presented with the options of banking their baby’s cord blood for future use should their child become sick, or donating to Héma-Québec.