SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – A baby was born on the USNS Comfort on Saturday near San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The ship is currently underway in the area providing medical support in support of relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Sara Victoria Llull Rodriguez was born to parents Tania Rodriguiz Ramos and Francisco Llull Vera. At 6 lbs, 8 oz., she’s the first baby born on the Comfort since January 21, 2010 when the ship was in Haiti providing humanitarian response after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.
“I never thought that our special moment would happen here on this ship,” said Francisco Llull Vera, Sara’s father. “Everyone has been so helpful and gentle while caring for our baby. I hope this opens the door for those who still need help to seek out the Comfort.”
Capt. Kevin Robinson, Comfort’s mission commander, said the special occasion is one felt throughout the ship.
“I think the birth of that little girl has reinvigorated the crew,” said Robinson.
“We stood up the labor and delivery ward prior to getting underway,” said Lt. Karri Washbon, a labor and delivery nurse aboard Comfort who assisted with Sara’s birth. “We expected to see a lot of patients, but we weren’t sure how often we’d get to utilize this aspect. With every birth there is a unique story and we are glad to be a part of their experience. Now everyone just wants to see the baby!”
In honor of the rare situation, the Comfort’s current Ship’s Master Roger Gwinn ceremoniously renamed one of the ship’s two small boat tenders the Sara Victoria.
“We wanted to do something special, the crew has taken to the baby as one of our own,” said Gwinn. “As she goes forward in life, we hope she carries Comfort with her.”