Dressed in a blue hat and held tightly to his mother’s chest, Ike Aldridge is blissfully unaware of the milestone he represents.
This week Ike became the 500th baby to be born in the maternity ward of the South East Regional Hospital since its official opening in April 2016.
Ike is the second child of Tia Long and Shaquille Aldridge of Eden, joining big sister Samantha, who was born at Bega’s district hospital two years ago.
Weighing 2.28 kilograms, Ike was born at 10.14am on Wednesday, February 14.
Twenty-three-year-old Ms Long said the milestone was “pretty cool”, and her whole experience in the ward was “really good”.
Originally from the Central Coast of NSW, Ms Long and Mr Aldridge met while they were both studying at the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association Dance College in Kariong.
It took the ward just 22 months to reach the milestone, which means on average 23 babies are born each month at the regional hospital.