Bringing SCV families together
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s NICU hosts annual celebration
Doctors and nurses of Henry Mayo’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, reunited with families they’ve cared for at their sixth annual celebration Saturday at Richard Rioux Park.
The reunion offered a variety of activities for families, including a toddler play area, bounce houses and more.
“We actually just had our anniversary. We opened June 4, 2012,” Sherry Zamudio, chair of the NICU reunion, said Saturday. “Today, we invite all the previous patients, the babies and their
families to come celebrate the fact that they graduated from our NICU.”
Over 600 people were invited to attend the reunion, between NICU graduates and their families.
Kids who were attending ranged in age from 6 years old to 6 weeks old, Zamudio said.
“It’s just to celebrate the fact that these wonderful people have come into our lives and that they are doing great,” Zamudio said. “Every single person here is the reason we love working at the NICU. These families leave an impression on our hearts. They really become family. We’re a small community hospital. Every year they come back to the reunion. It’s like Christmas every year.”
NICU treats severely ill or premature newborns with specialized care. Doctors and nurses with specialized training work day and night at Henry Mayo to give babies who require intensive care the treatment they need to survive, said Sally McGann, director of Women’s Services at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
“The NICU is there for critical-care newborns who need higher-level care,” McGann said. “The experience of neonatal nurses, neonatologist, the neonatal respiratory therapist, is a team that comes to high-risk deliveries to get them the care they need immediately from the intensive care unit.”
For families that attended the reunion it was an opportunity to thank the NICU personnel who helped care for their babies who may have had a difficult birth.
“This means a lot. It’s healing in the sense of what trauma (our kids) have experienced early in their lives,” said Larry and Sandra Medrano, parents whose kids have gone through the NICU. “All the parents can come together and share stories.”
The NICU has created one big interconnected family of patients and caregivers that is built on the shared experience of hardship, according to the Medranos.
“A big part of it is gratitude, coming back and seeing the people that actually took care of our kids and then remembering them after four years and just to continue to say thank you,” Larry Medrano said. “They really are truly special in our hearts and in our life.”
Families wave around bubble wands during Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s sixth annual celebration at Richard Rioux Park on Saturday.
Families participate in activities during Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s sixth annual celebration at Richard Rioux Park on Saturday.