NICU Reunion – Celebrating Super Heroes

August 28, 2015 5:35 pm
NICU Grads all together

Many families remembered one another during their babies’ stays in the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s NICU.

logo on cake

Even the cakes were feeling heroic at the NICU Reunion.

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.”

carla and Lola

Nurse Practitioner Carla Walker with former patient, Lola. The reconnection with their clinician meant a great deal to Lola’s family.

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.

check presentation

Mandy Dobrowolski and her family presented the check of $1,000 from the proceeds of “Running for Covers,” to the NICU nurses, who were surprised by the amount.

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.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s NICU has successfully cared for babies born at 23 weeks’ gestation and weighing as little as 12 ounces.Marlou, Francesca, Therese and Dennis


marcie white

I had my baby girl April 30th, 2012. Journi Amani Young weighed 1pound and 12 ounces. It was the nurses that put the time in. I really appreciate the NICU hard work and dedication

Renee Klomparens

NICU nurses are the best as my twin grand daughters were both in there in 2012 and I just can't say enough good things about them. They bent over backwards to help with my daughter who became very sick during their stay there to hook up facetime so momma could see them during her hospital stay.

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