Amid the chaos that nearly 200 NICU “grads” bring, their parents and NICU nurses who cared for them were able to reconnect at the NICU reunion, hosted by the NICU nurses at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum on August 25, 2015. The theme was “What’s Your Super Power?”
Often having arrived into this world too soon or with complications, these NICU grads and their parents were proud to show off how far they have come since their care as the smallest patients of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.
Event organizer Lynne Horodyski, NICU nurse, states: “We are always so excited to see how our former patients achieve so much, how big they grow. It gives the nursing staff such joy to see how they thrive after our care.”
One family was delighted to reconnect with their Nurse Practitioner Carla Walker. The dad wrote to the hospital in an email (used with permission):
“At this event, my wife and I happened to find the lead clinician who was immediately responsible for clearing our daughter’s lungs, clearing her airway, and finally allowing her to take her first breaths. It was a traumatic and stressful birth; nothing like the videos we saw during our classes….
“The nurse’s name was Carla, and we had thought about her a lot over the last year. Never did we think we’d have an opportunity to ever thank her in person.
“We met her tonight, and I don’t think my wife and I had any idea what to say. We simply didn’t expect things to align in a way that we would ever see her. When we were leaving the event, and saw Carla again, all we could ask for was a picture with her.”
Thanks to all our super heroes who celebrated all they have accomplished!
Also special thanks to Mandy Dobrowolski, who is the creator of “Running for Covers.” During the reunion, Dobrowolski presented a $1,000 check from the proceeds of “Running for Covers 2015″ to the nursing staff to provide funds for the NICU.
More than 500 people came out to this event that garnered media attention from the Grand Rapids Press and WZZM 13.
Did you know?
As a licensed 15-bed, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, (NICU) Mercy Health Saint Mary’s annually cares for anywhere between 120 and 170 newborns.
So far in 2015, the unit has cared for more than 100 babies. Statistics indicate that about 7%, or one in 15, of all newborns will need to stay in the NICU after birth; the most common reason being premature birth, followed by congenital infections.