Nearly 200 NICU “graduates,” their families and hospital staff converged on Beeghly campus for the second NICU reunion.
Guests were treated to children’s games, an ice cream truck, playground, selfie station and an opportunity to visit with hospital staff who they formed bonds with during their stay. Event planners called the event a huge success and have started making tentative plans for the next one in 2 years.
“It was a picture-perfect day to celebrate our miracles here in the Mahoning Valley,” said Kelly Robertson, unit secretary at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s NICU at St. Elizabeth’s Boardman. “We often see babies through the most trying times, and this was a day to reflect and celebrate all the successes!”
Allison Oltmann, a mother of twin NICU graduates, was also among the event planners who was inspired after attending the reunion
“It gives you chills thinking about how many people have been impacted by the work the NICU unit does,” Oltmann said. “It was also a special time for the staff who attended. You could see their faces light up to see and hold those babies again.”
Robertson echoed the sentiment about the staff.
“What stood out to me was how proud our nurses, neonatologists and respiratory therapists were when they saw how these babies have grown and developed since they were in our NICU,” she said.