The first baby born at the Materno turns forty

Víctor Navas, Ana Belén Fernández, Luis Pérez-Bryan, Fuensanta Sánchez and Ana Roldán.
Víctor Navas, Ana Belén Fernández, Luis Pérez-Bryan, Fuensanta Sánchez and Ana Roldán. / ÑITO SALAS

  • 'I think it’s great that my mother was the first to give birth in this hospital,' said Ana Belén Fernández, as she met the medical professionals who brought her into the world

On 11 June 1981, at 3.45pm, the first baby was delivered at the Materno Infantil hospital in Malaga. It was a girl, a third daughter for Carmen Vera and José Fernández, and she weighed in at 4.2 kilos. Now, 40 years on, Ana Belén Fernández Vera, shared her birthday celebrations with the hospital's anniversary.

To mark the event she joined some of the medical professionals who helped to bring her into the world at a gala at La Concepción botanical garden to celebrate 65 years of the Carlos Haya hospital (now Hospital Regional) and the 40 years of the maternity and children's hospital - the Materno.

"I love the fact that I was the first baby to be born in the Materno hospital. It's something to tell my children about," said Ana Belén, who met up with professionals along with her husband, Juan Lorenzo Gámez. The couple have two children: Jaime, who is ten, and Paloma, seven.

Three of the medical professionals who were there at the birth listened attentively as Ana Belén spoke. She is, after all, part of the hospital's history. This was the first time that Ana Belén has met gynaecologist Luis Pérez-Bryan, neonatalogist Ana Roldán and the head of the maternity ward, Fuensanta Sánchez. They are retired now, but they recalled a day none of them will ever forget.

"As soon as I was old enough to understand, my parents told me I had been the first baby to be born at the Materno," said Ana Belén, who is a teacher and specialist in therapeutic education and has worked in special schools and with the Once association for the blind. Now she is planning to work in the state education system. She misses her mother, who died in April last year, very much. Her father is still alive, and is now 81.

Luis Pérez-Bryan was on duty on 11 June 1981 and delivered the baby. "I was lucky enough to bring Ana Belén into the world. The birth was absolutely normal, we didn't have to do any surgical procedures at all," he said. Ana Roldán was also working that day. "I was at the Carlos Haya and my boss, Dr Martínez Valverde, told me to go to the Materno. I didn't even know where the new hospital was!" she says.

"At that time everything at the hospital was brand new, just like the baby," says Fuensanta Sánchez. "It was a very special day," says Pérez-Bryan.

The current director of the Materno, Víctor Navas, was also at the meeting and said that for him, "Running this particular hospital makes me very proud".