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Central Coast 2021 New Year’s babies

New Year's Baby
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Manuel De Jesus born January 1, 2021 at 12:06 AM

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION-TV) -- Some Central Coast parents are ringing in the new year by welcoming newborns to their family.

CHOMP announced they helped welcome one of the first newborns of 2021 at around 4:40 a.m. on New Years Day.


It was around that time Stephanie and Shawn Sanders welcomed baby boy Kaiden Kal-El Sanders to the family.

If you haven't guessed, the newborn's name has a mix of references from comics and movies. Kal-El is the most obvious if you're a fan of Superman while Kaiden has a little nod to the hit Netflix series, Cobra Kai.

Kaiden Kal-El Sanders with parents Shawn and Stephanie. Photo courtesy of Montage Health.

“We were home watching Netflix, watching ‘Cobra Kai,’ and Kai popped into my head,” Shawn said. The name then morphed into Kaiden. “We liked the ring of it.”

The parents acknowledged the uncertainty of having a kid during a pandemic, especially with Shawn being a registered nurse at CHOMP. But even with the "crazy" year, as the Sanders family says, the day holds a lot of meaning as to what the rest of the year and even their lives will hold with baby Kaiden.

“The worry was always there with my wife pregnant and me understanding the uncertainty of this pandemic," said Shawn. "It’s a good feeling to know he’s healthy and my wife is healthy.”


Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital also welcomed the first baby boy born to a family with three young girls.

Manuel De Jesus was born to Maria Flores Velasco around 12:06 Friday morning, possibly making him the first baby in Monterey County to be born in 2021.

Manuel De Jesus with mom, Maria Flores Velasco. Born 12:06 a.m. January 1, 2021. Photo courtesy of SVMH

Maria initially arrived at the hospital New Year's Eve but gave birth three hours later and just right into the new year.

Maria says she has two twin girls, both 8-year-olds and a 14-year-old daughter.

Doctors and nurses at SVMH say they were grateful to bring this bit of good news to a hospital hampered by the pandemic.

“This birth was like a breath of fresh air for all of us,” said Krista Paulo, RN who works in the Level III NICU. “With COVID, we have seen so much tragedy this year, so to have this perfect, healthy little baby and mom doing fantastic just minutes after ringing in 2021 gives us hope and inspiration that this will indeed be a better year ahead.”

Meanwhile, Dominican Hospital says they've just welcomed their first baby of 2021 Friday afternoon.


Dominican Hospital's new year's baby was delivered much later in the day to a Scotts Valley family around 11:26 AM.

Amari Patel Gonzalez with parents Tanika and Nativo Gonzalez. Photo courtesy of Dominican Hospital

Amari Patel Gonzalez was born to first-time mom, Tanika Patel Gonzalez. Nativo Gonzalez is Amari's father, and currently has a 14-year-old son of his own.

Monterey County / News / San Benito County / Santa Cruz County
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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the managing editor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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