Newborn Luca Picarella -- the 100,000th delivery at Stony Brook University Hospital -- was given a royal discharge Thursday. He and mother, Katie, were wheeled down a red carpet lined with cheering staff members and delivered to the family car decorated with a "Just Delivered" sign.
Before heading home to Rocky Point, Luca was feted with 150 pink and blue cupcakes spelling out "100K," enormous stork and giraffe balloons, a congratulatory poster signed by well-wishers on the Stony Brook staff and donated gifts, including $10,000 to use toward college from Island Federal Credit Union.
Stony Brook also flew up Jeffrey Solomon from Florida -- he was the first baby born at the hospital 35 years ago, on May 28, 1980. He wore a shirt that said "I'm with #100,000" with an arrow pointing toward Luca. He brought with him a laminated Newsday article that told the story of his birth that he said he used to bring to school for show and tell.
Luca slept on his mother's lap through most of the activity, breaking into a cry at the end.
Father Mike Picarella, 32, who works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, called all the attention and gifts "a little overwhelming."
"My luck growing up, I would've been 99,999 or 100,001," he joked at the event.
Mother Katie, 31, who is a bookkeeper for the family business, called the whole experience "fun and just crazy." Luca's big sister, Gianna, 5, who was born at the hospital in 2009, was presented with an American Girl doll.
Luca was born at 8:09 a.m. Monday via a scheduled C-section. He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long.
The hospital has been counting down to the 100,000th delivery -- multiple births are counted as one delivery -- all summer on its Stony Brook Medicine Facebook page. These days, nearly, 4,000 babies are born each year at the hospital, at the rate of about 10 to 20 deliveries a day.
"This is extremely exciting for us, reaching the milestone of 100,000 deliveries," said Dr. Todd Griffin, chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital. "It's an incredible achievement."
Dr. Reuven Pasternak, chief executive of Stony Brook University Hospital, told those in attendance they'd likely meet again in the year 2040. "At the current pace," he said, "twenty-five years from now we'll be at 200,000. So mark your calendars."