Earlier this month, a baby was born at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport.
That’s not necessarily noteworthy – after all, every newborn is special – but this little girl has a singular distinction. She is the great-granddaughter of Mark G. Collson. Collson served on the PCH hospital board for 25 years and helped to create an obstetrics unit at the local hospital.
After his passing in the late 1980s, he was honored by having the birthing unit named for him. The honorary plaque was carried over to the new hospital addition when it opened early last year.
Vanelope Green, weighing 7 pounds even and measuring 20 inches long, was born to Maggie Collson and Vanminh Green on Monday, May 11, at 5:50 a.m. Most everyone in the Green family have names that begin with “Van.” So, the parents were lovingly calling the unborn girl “Mini Van,” before naming her Vanelope, which rhymes with Penelope.
This isn’t the first bit of fame earned by Collson girls. Maggie’s mother, Maureen Collson, was featured in the local newspaper 34 years ago this month. Maggie shares a yellowed newspaper clipping that shows a pretty, dark-haired woman with a slight smile and tired eyes holding two babies. The caption on the news photo reads: Doubly proud mom.
Proudly holding her daughters Katie Colleen Collson and Maggie Maureen Collson, born at 12:25 and 12:26 p.m. May 29, 1986, is Maureen Collson of Newport. Collson became the mother of the first set of twins born at the newly opened obstetrics department at Pacific Communities Hospital, Newport. The babies were delivered by Dr. Mohammed Ashraf.
While “Grandpa Mark” passed away in 1989, his influence in the Newport community continues with the original dedication plaque hanging just outside the room where his great-granddaughter was being bundled up for her first car ride home.