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20 Years and Counting

Posted on February 4, 2020 in 100th Anniversary

Fort Sanders Regional 100th Anniversary Graphic

Mom Recalls Millennial Baby’s Birth at Fort Sanders Regional

Kayla DurnilKayla Durnil is a 20-year-old woman who lives in Kentucky. Like many young adults, she has a car and a job and she’s engaged to be married. But 20 years ago, Kayla’s life had an extraordinary beginning at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center.

Kayla has the distinction of being the first baby born in Knoxville in “the new millennium.” She was delivered at Fort Sanders Regional on Jan. 1, 2000, a day her mother will never forget.

“I never got a chance to thank anyone,” says Dina about the hospital. “They made me feel comfortable and important.”

Dina brought her baby into the world even as reporters and video cameras waited in the hospital lobby. There were interviews and pictures, and a gift from the nurses for little Kayla.

“She had a stuffed dog you could write on that the hospital gave me, and I had all the nurses sign it,” Dina says. “Over the years the signatures faded, but I still have that.

“My favorite thing about being her mom is how loving she was and how much of a mommy’s girl she was,” says Dina. “She has overcome a lot in her life, and I got to see how she handled that through the years.”

Welcoming New Babies at Fort Sanders Regional

Skilled, experienced obstetricians/gynecologists deliver thousands of babies a year at Fort Sanders Regional. In 2019, the hospital saw a record-breaking 3,158 births. There are 12 labor and delivery suites and 34 post-partum rooms where moms can recover and greet loved ones.

Fort Sanders Regional physicians and staff are dedicated to providing the best possible birth experience for mom and baby by promoting skin-to-skin care immediately in the labor and delivery suite, including caesarean patients. Nursing staff are committed to helping breastfeeding mothers establish a good foundation by providing baby with time to settle in and delaying the baby bath. The unit observes a “Quiet Time” for bonding between mothers, their newborns and their support person, promoting a healing environment and family bonding during the first 12 hours of the baby’s life.

To learn more about the Birthing Center at Fort Sanders Regional and other women’s services provided by the hospital, visit or call 865-673-FORT.

On the first day of 2020, Kayla’s 20th birthday, she and her mom were featured on WBIR-TV in a special follow-up story. You can watch the video here.