At 101, And 15,000 Babies, An OB-GYN Works On | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

At 101, And 15,000 Babies, An OB-GYN Works On

Play associated audio

As this week began, the word from the United Nation's was to expect the birth of the world's 7 billionth baby. That led us to call a 101-year-old man who has delivered more than 15,000 babies over the years.

NPR's Morning Edition reached Dr. Walter Watson at his home in Augusta, Ga., on Monday. Watson started bringing babies into the world in 1947.

"I tried to deliver every baby just like it was my own child," he says.

He has stopped working in the delivery room, but Watson still makes rounds on the labor and delivery floor of Augusta's University Hospital a few days each week.

Nearly everyone in the community, he says, has been touched by his work.

"I tell you, it's very seldom that I go around to any location in this area," Watson says, "and somebody doesn't come up and speak to me, and say, 'You delivered me,' or, 'You delivered my child.' "

Fred Huiet was among the first babies Watson delivered. His family didn't live in Augusta, but in 1947 — when baby Fred was on the way — his parents drove 18 miles to reach Watson's practice.

"My parents lived in Trenton where he [Watson] was from. And the people of Trenton didn't believe there was any other doctor ... but Dr. Watson," he says. "And anytime there's a group, a high school reunion or family gathering, we always start the conversation by, 'Did Dr. Watson deliver you?' "

Watson came late to the medical field. After college, he served as a principal at a high school and coached the football team. That helped him save money for medical school.

He left medical school to serve as a general surgeon in the military during World War II. After the war, he returned to Augusta — and his practice hasn't stopped since.

One of his patients, Dot Parrish, says she first met Watson in his practice when she was a young woman.

"You know, it's mighty nice when a doctor takes care of you from the time you're 16 years old and delivers my first child — and then he turned around and delivered my grandchildren," she says. "They just don't come like Dr. Watson anymore. And our family is just crossed in so many ways."

Watson himself has five children, 16 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

He was born in 1910, when the world's population was a lot smaller — hovering around 1.75 billion.

His next birthday is in February.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

'Historic Landmark' Status Complicates Corcoran Renovations

Plans by George Washington University to renovate the Corcoran Gallery of Art may be thrown for a loop after D.C.'s historic preservation board designated much of the interior of the building as a historic landmark.

NPR

In This Museum, Visitors Can Eat At The Exhibits

The Southern Museum of Food and Beverage in New Orleans chronicles the eats and drinks of the Southern states. And it may be one of the only museums where visitors can imbibe while viewing exhibits.
NPR

Staten Island Candidates Avoid Talk Of Eric Garner Case

In the New York Congressional district where an an unarmed black man died at the hands of police last year, neither candidate for a special congressional election is using the death to score points.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.