Jeff Anderson delivers first baby of new year

By Staff
NEW YEAR'S BABY – Melissa Page of Hickory holds her fourth son, Darius Kendrell McClelland, the first baby of the new year born in Meridian. The baby weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long. He was born at 8:06 a.m. at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By William F. West / community editor
Jan. 2, 2003
A Hickory boy is Lauderdale County's first baby of 2003.
Darius Kendrell McClelland was born at 8:06 a.m. Wednesday at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center to Melissa Page and her companion, Roosevelt McClelland. The baby weighs 6 pounds 8 ounces and is 20 inches long.
Page said she wasn't sure of the reason for the early delivery. "I guess he was ready to come," she said.
Page and McClelland both work as cooks at the Spaceway truck plaza at Meehan Junction. He was on shift this morning.
Page said she was taken to the hospital after she started feeling pains around 4 a.m. Wednesday. She said she had no complications; McClelland was with her during the delivery.
The baby remained with the mother for several hours after being delivered by Dr. John Harris of Meridian.
The baby is McClelland's fourth son. Her other three are Sedrick Page, 10; Joseph Page, 6; and Malik McClelland, 2.
Nurses and administrators at Jeff Anderson were pleased to deliver the county's first baby.
Wednesday marked the second consecutive year the county's first baby was born at Jeff Anderson. A day earlier, on New Year's Eve, the hospital delivered the county's last baby for 2002.
A boy, Damian Mekhi White, was born at 10:02 p.m. to Damia and Phillip White Jr., formerly of Meridian and now of Jackson.
Damian weighs 9 pounds 8 ounces and is 20 inches long. He was born in Meridian because his mother was under the care of Dr. Ronnye Purvis of Meridian.
Damia White is a registered nurse and Phillip White Jr. works for the Nissan plant in Madison County. They have another son, Phillip White III, who is 17 months old.
Ann Weddington, the hospital's marketing director, said the two mothers will receive gifts from Jeff Anderson including a one-year membership with the Jeff Anderson Health &Fitness Center.