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UCSD Health System Reunites NICU Babies with Staff

Some 1,500 former NICU patients, families and staff gathered at a reunion picnic on August 3 in San Diego.

Courtesy: UC San Diego Health System
Courtesy: UC San Diego Health System
A unique reunion was held Saturday. UC San Diego Health System reunited many former patients who "graduated" from its neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with staff doctors and nurses at a picnic at NTC Liberty Station in Point Loma. Some 1,500 families, former patients and staff attended the festive gathering.

The NICU treats premature newborns, some weighing less than a pound or with health issues that require hospitalization.

Many guests came in strollers with their families, but the oldest NICU graduate at the event was Doug Bear, who weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces when born in 1973.

The picnic also had barbecue, arts and crafts, entertainment and several guests dressed as superheroes. 
Jennifer Degl August 12, 2013 at 03:03 PM
These reunions are a great way for families to reunite with the staff that saved their children. You get very close with the staff when your child is in the NICIU for a long time. My daughter Joy was born at 23 weeks last year. Due to modern medicine and prayers she is doing great today. I hemorrhaged at 17 weeks for the first of 4 times because of 100% placenta previa, which turned into placenta accreta (which I believe was caused by 3 prior c-sections). After she came home from 121 days in the NICU, I wrote a memoir called "From Hope To Joy" about my life-threatening pregnancy and my daughter's 4 months in the NICU (with my 3 young sons at home), which is now available on Amazon. It was quite a roller coaster that I am certain some of you have been on or are currently riding on. My goal of writing our memoir is to give a realistic look at what lies ahead to families with preemies in the NICU while showing them that hope can turn into Joy and that miracles can happen. Please see my website www.micropreemie.net and subscribe. Thank you.

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