Staff at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, got to reunite with patients who were once newborns in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the past.
The babies, who are now toddlers and school-aged children, required hospitalization after they were born, due to being premature, sick, or just requiring extra care for other medical reasons.
Thanks to the incredible doctors and nursing staff, the babies grew up to be healthy kids.
“It’s really heartwarming — it’s uplifting,” NICU Family Support Program Coordinator Amy Nyberg told 13 On Your Side. “I think that staff really enjoy seeing these kids grow up and know that all of their good work their hard work every day turns out to be very successful because they’re happy and just turn out like every other kid their age and so it’s really a happy day.”
One of the children at the reunion, named Valerie, who is now ten months old, spent her first five months of life in the NICU after she was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease.
“Not only did she build connections with the staff, we had some regular primary nurses while we were here,” Alexis Hawkins, Valerie’s mom, told 13 On Your Side. “They became family and really our support – which is crazy, you would never think that – but it’s really been nice to see her get reunited.”
Alexis says there is a handful of staff from the NICU that still keep in touch with them since they’ve left, so she believes that her daughter still remembers them, despite being just ten months old.
Watch the sweet reunion in the video below:Whizzco