- Special Sections
When Easton Lee Martin was born June 22 at Saline Memorial Hospital, he was following a family tradition.
Easton's mother, Melanie Martin, was born at Saline Memorial in 1984, and both of her parents also had started life inside the Benton hospital.
Martin's mother, Vicki Steele, was born at the hospital in December of 1957, and the birth of her father, Jeff Steele, occurred there in September of 1958.
The family's connection to the hospital goes even deeper.
"When Jeff was born, my mother, Jean Harris, who's a nurse, was working at the hospital and she gave Jeff his first spanking," Vicki said with a laugh. "This was in the days when they really did give them that initial spank to start them breathing."
Harris continues to provide service to the hospital as a volunteer, Vicki noted.
"And when I was born, Jeff's grandmother, Elva Cox, who's now deceased, was a nurse there," she said. "I was a preemie, weighing only 3 pounds and 11 ounces, and his grandmother took care of me."
The latest addition to the family was delivered by Dr. Stacy Pinter, Vicki noted.
"Dr. (Tony) Council delivered Melanie, Dr. (John) Wright delivered my husband and Dr. (Paul) Hogue delivered me," Steele said.
"We have a long relationship with Saline Memorial Hospital," she said, noting that the hospital opened its doors in 1955.
She added that both her daughter and her new grandson are "doing fine and went home a day after his birth."
Easton's weight at birth was six pounds and seven ounces.
His family also includes his father, Aaron Martin, who was born in another location; and the couple's daughter, Kynlee, who is 13 months old.