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Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Embryo saved from flood now a boy named Noah

The Associated Press

COVINGTON, La. — Rescued from a great flood while he was just a frozen embryo in liquid nitrogen, a baby boy entered the world Tuesday and was named after the most famous flood survivor of them all: Noah.

Noah Benton Markham — 8 pounds, 6 ½ ounces — was born to 32-year-old Rebekah Markham by Caesarean section after growing from an embryo that nearly defrosted in a sweltering hospital after Hurricane Katrina.

"All babies are miracles. But we have some special miracles," said Wanda Stogner, a cousin of Markham's.

Relatives gathered around New Orleans Police officer Glen Markham as the proud 42-year-old father carried the tiny blanket-wrapped bundle topped by a pink-and-blue cap out of the operating room at St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

"It's a boy!" he announced, to an eruption of cheers and applause.

Two weeks after Katrina hit, law officers used flat-bottom boats to rescue the Markhams' embryos and about 1,400 others stored at New Orleans' Lakeland Hospital.

The Markhams had decided that if their baby was girl, she would be named Hannah Mae, Hannah meaning "God has favored us." A boy would be named after the biblical builder of the Ark, an idea that came from Rebekah Markham's sister-in-law.

"That is the best name!" said Ramon Pyrzak, lab director for the Fertility Institute of New Orleans, where the Markhams' embryos were created.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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