• Jacksonville's first babies of the New Year born 8 minutes apart

    By: Deanna Bettineschi


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Each year, the first babies born in the New Year are celebrated at hospitals throughout the nation -- Northeast Florida is no exception.

    One family was expecting to have their baby in a few weeks, but last night things changed when they ended up at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside.

    Charles Gotto walked into the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Vincent’s on the Southside to check on his new baby boy Cooper.

    Cooper wasn’t supposed to be here for another three weeks, but his mother Kelly Gotto delivered early, making Cooper the first baby born in 2016 in Jacksonville at 12:11 a.m.

    While their baby boy takes the title for first born this New Year’s, his parents say that wasn’t what they were focused on.

    “To be honest that was probably the last thing on my mind because Cooper was born premature. His mom says he had some breathing issues,” Charles Gotto said.

    “He's having a little problems on oxygen and breathing,” Kelly Gotto said. 

    But Cooper's parents said the newborn has been getting top-notch care, and his condition has already improved.

    His older sister said she can’t wait until they take him home so she can play with her baby brother. 

    Cooper’s sister might not have to wait long -- the hospital staff said Cooper should be able to go home soon.

    The first baby born at a Baptist Health hospital in Jacksonville was delivered at Baptist Medical Center South.

    Grayson Thomas, son of Amy and Sean Buckley, arrived at 12:19 am, weighing 8lbs, 1.3oz. 

    Mother and baby are both doing well. 

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