Each year during the fall, St. David’s HealthCare hospitals reunite former neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) families with their caregivers through annual NICU reunions. These heartwarming events provide a unique opportunity for the nurses and doctors who cared for these children as infants to renew ties with NICU families.
“St. David’s Women’s Center is committed to providing the highest level of care for our smallest, most vulnerable patients, as well as their families” Amy Irons, director of neonatal services at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas, said. “These families have been through so much, and these reunions give us a chance to reconnect with those babies.”
The St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas 9th annual NICU reunion in September offered entertainment for families, including a soft play area, pony rides, a petting zoo and a special appearance by “Moana,” the star of a Disney movie of the same name. More than 1,000 attended this reunion, including NICU graduates and their family members.
Additionally, St. David’s Medical Center hosted an outer space-themed NICU reunion in October that brought many children out in Halloween costumes for family-friendly activities, including a craft station to create rocket artwork, an outer space-themed photo booth, a petting zoo, face painting and more.
“Due to the intense nature of the care provided for babies in the NICU and the length of their hospital stays, doctors and nurses often form lifelong relationships with patients and families,” Rhonda Reed, director of the NICU at St. David’s Medical Center, said. “This event is especially close to our hearts because we get to reconnect with our former NICU patients and celebrate what each of them has overcome.”
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center will also host a fall-themed NICU reunion in November.
KVUE interviewed Amy Irons, director of neonatal services at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas, as well as the mother of a baby who was cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas.
KTBC interviewed the parents of a baby who was cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. David’s Medical Center.