Khari Dyches poses with her baby, Araya. She is the first of two infants born on New Year’s Day at Intermountain Sanpete Valley Hospital.


First Babies of Year

make their appearance


Sanpete Valley, Gunnison Valley hospitals and Central Valley Medical Center all welcome infants to 2021


By Rhett Wilkinson

Staff writer



The first babies of the year at three area hospitals arrived between Jan. 1 and 7.

Araya Dyches was the first of two babies born on New Year’s Day at Intermountain Sanpete Valley Hospital. Quinn Christensen was born later that day.

The hospital chose to celebrate both babies.

“It has been more than a decade since we have had two babies born on New Year’s Day at Sanpete Valley Hospital,” said Suzy Zahler, obstetrics nurse manager. “As a rural hospital, we definitely think that is worth celebrating.”

Araya was born at 3:56 a.m. Jan. 1, weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 18.5 inches long. Her delivering physician was Dr. Eileen Jackson. Araya’s mother is Khari Dyches of Spring City.

“She was a fun, surprise New Year’s baby,” Dyches said. “She arrived a little earlier than planned and was a good delivery.”


Jessi and Trevan Christensen pose with their baby, Quinn. He was born on New Year’s Day at Intermountain Sanpete Valley Hospital.

Quinn was born at 8:07 p.m. Jan. 1, weighing 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 19.8 inches long. His delivering physician was Dr. Eric Jones. Quinn’s parents are Jessi and Trevan Christensen of Manti.

“The staff who helped us were amazing,” Jessi said. “Shalise and Laura, along with our patient care tech McKenna, went above the bar to give us the comfort we needed and to help the process of bringing our little Quinn into the world. Because of the pandemic, we had no family or friends to support us, but having such an amazing staff, really made the difference.

“We are grateful for this little miracle of ours,” Jessi said. “There were unknown complications throughout the whole pregnancy and even after delivery, but it all worked out and we are so grateful to have such an amazing staff to share and guide us through this special time! We love you!”

At Central Valley Medical Center, Mateo was born at 12:25 p.m. Jan. 1, weighing 9 pounds 3 ounces and was 21 inches long. His delivering physician was Dr. Reed Skinner. Mateo’s parents are Elysia and Kyle. They did not provide their last name or city of residence and did not want to comment.

On the front row, Elysia and Kyle pose with their baby, Mateo, who was the first baby born in 2021 at Central Valley Medical Center. In the back, labor and delivery staff are Missy Frampton, Cassi Harris, Amie Bills and Angie Sperry.

“Celebrating the New Year’s baby is something our staff looks forward to during the holiday season each and every year,” said Annie Hatch, RN and women and newborn service manager at CVMC. “We make sure that all of our patients receive the highest quality of care, in the best manner possible, so they feel safe and comfortable during their stay.”

CVMC administration provided a $400 discount on the hospital bill to Elysia and Kyle. The hospital labor and delivery staff organized a gift basket with a mom care package and items like lotions, body wash, an assortment of clothes, newborn toys, diapers, baby wipes, a laundry basket, swaddling blankets and a plush blanket.

Businesses provided donations to Mateo, Elysia and Kyle. Those businesses included Mid-State Consultants, Nebo-Leavitt Insurance Agency, Nephi Western Credit Union, Utah Community Credit Union, Nephi City Police Department, American First Credit Union, Boutique On Main and Florist, Azomite and The Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP), which donated a $50 savings certificate.


Neriah Gregerson and Steven Liefting pose with their baby, Stevie Jo, who was the first baby born in 2021 at Gunnison Valley Hospital.

At Gunnison Valley Hospital, Stevie Jo Liefting was born at 10:45 a.m. Jan 7, weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces and was 22.5 inches long. Her delivering physician was Dr. Cary Judy. Stevie Jo’s parents are Neriah Gregerson and Steven Liefting of Manti.

Stevie Jo’s “mom’s mom” was originally going to name Gregerson Stevie and with Steven Liefting’s first name being what it is, Stevie Jo’s parents thought “might as well,” Steven Liefting said.

“She’s kind of named after me also,” Steven Liefting said. “It’s kind of a win-win.”

Steven Liefting described being a new parent as “fun” and described the birth as “pretty exciting.”

“Overall, it was a really great experience,” Steven Liefting said. “My family really loves her and I love them, too.”