FORT HOOD — The first baby born in Bell County in 2014 is battling an unknown infection and being monitored in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Fisher Alan Newman was born at 12:16 a.m. New Year’s Day at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

Fisher is spending the first days of his young life in the NICU to help with labored breathing.

On Friday, his grandmother, Marcella Hardy, said Fisher’s oxygen levels and respirator breathing were too low for him to be off the breathing machine, but he is making steady improvements.

It was not easy for first-time parents Spc. Justin Newman, 20, a soldier with the 89th Military Police Brigade, and his wife, Sabrina, 20.

“Justin and I are doing OK, we are just waiting to be able to take him home,” she said. “I don’t feel like a real mom yet. I just want to hold him and take him home.”

Hardy said doctors diagnosed her daughter with E. coli poisoning shortly after giving birth. Doctors suspect the infection passed through the placenta to the newborn during her pregnancy.

Unsure if Fisher could have been exposed, doctors put the newborn on a seven-day course of antibiotics and will continue to monitor him at the hospital until sometime next week.

Since his birth, the new parents were unable to hold Fisher or bond with him because he could not be overstimulated.

Sabrina Newman headed home after she was discharged Thursday while Fisher remained in the NICU.

“She’s having a really hard time being separated from her son,” Hardy said. “She’s home now and I am very proud of her through the heartbreak of all of this. It’s just a real mess.” | 254-501-7567

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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