ST. LOUIS, Feb. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- There's a good chance that a patient of Mercy's Dr. Charles Albritton, a Leap Day baby and an OB-GYN, could end up having a baby this Leap Day, Feb. 29. Because the special day occurs only every four years, a Leap Day birthday is a rarity. Of more than 45,000 employees, Dr. Albritton and 33 others are Mercy's only co-workers with Leap Day birthdays.
Dr. Albritton, who will celebrate his eighth Leapling birthday this year, doesn't have patients who have asked to be induced on Leap Day, but it's still possible the Mercy doctor could wind up sharing his birthday with a new baby or two.
"It's a great ice-breaker and you can have a lot of fun with it," said Dr. Albritton at Mercy Hospital Springfield. "It's a great excuse to throw an extra big party every four years."
Cindy Huelsing, another of Mercy's co-workers with a Leap Day birthday, said her parents always made sure she understood that even though her actual birthday didn't come around every year, it was something that made her special.
"My mom always explained to me that it was unique," said Huelsing, a Mercy St. Louis courtesy van driver.
Susan Cougill, a service center tech with Mercy in Oklahoma City, said that as a kid, it was hard to understand only having an official birthday once every four years. She said that being a Leap Day baby nearly kept her from being allowed to join a celebration for her 21st birthday.
"I had all these people inside for my birthday party, and they wouldn't let me in the door because it wasn't my birthday," she said. "Since it was Feb. 28, technically I wasn't 21 yet. They eventually let me in."
As life went on, Cougill said she discovered that being a Leapling can have its perks.
"Then I had kids and I grew to love being younger than them," she said with a laugh.
While most people share their birthday with more than 19 million people on the planet, Leapers, or Leapsters, share their special date with only five million people, making it a one in 1,461 chance.
For anyone planning an addition to their family, Leapling or not, download Mercy's free baby-on-the-way guide at mercy.net/leapbabyonway.