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Cabrini’s first baby returns for special milestone


On a cold Winter’s day in 1958, baby Francesca Jurate Kristina Sasnaitis came into the world.

Her parents didn’t know it at the time, but baby Francesca would forever hold a special place in our hearts as the first baby born at Cabrini.

Francesca, who goes by her preferred name of Jurate, celebrated her 65th birthday this month and said the “first baby” title is one she’s worn with pride her entire life.

“It’s always meant a lot to me… it’s the great myth of my life. Within hours of coming into this world, I was in the newspaper,” she said.

“It’s quite funny, because of my Lithuanian heritage and my name, people often ask me where I’m from and I tell them that I’m from Malvern – the first baby born at Cabrini Hospital”.

Jurate’s mother, Elza was also extremely proud to be part of the milestone.

“It’s always been a special part of my life and I know mum was very proud of it too,” Jurate said.

“The name Francesca was chosen out of respect to the sisters who helped with the birth, paying homage to Mother Cabrini by taking her Italian name.”

Wonderfully, Jurate has flourished in life, completing multiple degrees, traveling the world, and owning her own bookshop for a period of time before becoming an accomplished writer.

But no matter where she travels around the globe, Cabrini continues to be a place that she looks upon with warmth.

“I’ve actually got photos of the maternity suite from back then. It’s amazing to see it with all the empty cribs waiting for babies to arrive.”

Those cribs didn’t stay empty for long. Over six decades later Cabrini births over 2000 babies each year.