Happy Birthday Hutch logo in front of a drone shot of Hutchinson Regional Medical Center

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Celebrating life at Hutch hospital​

Kasyn Klug struggled to hold two baby chicken at the same time on Saturday during a celebration of a number that he played a small part in achieving.

The 5-year-old and his family attended the event out front of the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center that celebrated 33,876 births from 1975. Babies born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Grace Hospitals were also grandfathered in, according to the HRMC Foundation which put on the event.

HRMC Foundation Director Sue Wray said there were 33,876 births of Friday and nobody was in labor during the event.

“I checked,” she said.

“You never know when we are going to hit one those targets (like 34,000 births),” Wray said. “So instead of making it for the special birth, we picked a date.”

RSVPs for the event reached the maximum 1,000 for people to receive gifts — an HRMC thermos and stuffed animal. However, the event from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. was still open to the community.

There were several inflatables, including one that spanned 30-plus yards in length that adults could play on, food, caricature drawings and a petting zoo.

Kasyn and four of his five siblings were born at the hospital. And his parents, Andy and Tabitha, were born there, too.

“I think it’s great they are doing something with the community,” Tabitha Klug said.

Klug’s mother, Denise Stewart, was born at St. Elizabeth, so she counted in the celebration as well.

Stewart said she gave birth to her daughter and HRMC hospital staff inflated medical gloves like balloons and decorated her recovery room with signs that stated: “It’s a girl.”

Now the hospital does delivery and recovery in the same room.

Stewart was there for the birth of her oldest grandchild, Noah. She said nurses helped her then 18-year-old daughter learn how to wash a newborn. Stewart also recalled the hospital gave them a cake that stated: “It’s a boy.”

“It’s a really good hospital,” Stewart said.

Children ran around with cotton candy, snow cones and birthday cake. Hotdogs, chips and water were provided as well with large tents to sit under in case it rained.

But the rain held off.

Dr. Darrel Neuschafer stood by one of the tents taking photos with people he delivered during his 37-year career as an OBGYN. He delivered 7,218 babies before he retired in 2014.

“One of the very first pictures was of Dr. Neuschafer holding you,” Cami Hoag told her 8-year-old son, Austin.

Neuschafer told Austin, despite what he might have heard, he never smacked his bottom. Neuschafer said people often think doctors smack the baby to make it cry, indicating the baby is breathing.

It may have happened a long time ago, Neuschafer said, but it wasn’t a taught practice during his time. Neuschafer said he would gently scratch their arm or the bottom of their foot to stimulate the baby to cry if it wasn’t already.

“It’s a happy specialty,” he said. “You’re involved with bringing life into the world and it’s very rewarding.”

Neuschafer also posed for a photo with Kaire Ohnmach and her two children. He delivered all three.

Neuschafer, whose wife Carol was born at St. Elizabeth’s, said he chose the Hutchinson hospital in 1977 because it was one of the only hospitals where patients had their own rooms.

“I was pretty impressed with the hospital here,” he said.

Nabholz Construction, BCS and HFG sponsored the event. All three organizations are contractors for the HRMC Intensive Care Unit.

Courtesy of the Hutchinson News