On September 14, the cafeteria at Regional Medical Center at Memphis was transformed into the Land of Dr. Seuss as NICU “graduates” and their families attended the NICU Family Reunion. Former patients, families, staff and physicians filled the cafeteria to celebrate the once tiny miracles who were cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The annual NICU Reunion is an opportunity to honor the successes and achievements of the “graduates” and to reflect and reminisce on their journey with family and the staff members who provided expert care during those first important days, weeks and months after birth. This event gives families a chance to come back and visit with staff and gives staff a rare opportunity to see how the NICU graduates, some of whom weighed as little as one pound at birth, have grown.
The partygoers enjoyed fun and games at stations around the room themed around popular Dr. Seuss books such as One Fish, Two Fish and Lorax. Refreshments and entertainment also played a big role in the fun. But most of all, there were many hugs, well wishes and marveling over the accomplishments of the children.
The reunion also included a brief recognition program featuring speakers and stories from both NICU and hospital staff and from former patient families. NICU families expressed thanksgiving for the NICU at Regional Medical Center at Memphis for providing exceptional care to their infants when they needed it the most. Speakers from Regional Medical Center at Memphis included Dr. Ramasubbareddy Dhanireddy, M.D., Medical Director of the Newborn Center and Chief Nursing Officer Pam Castleman, who each expressed excitement to see the former patients thriving and taking part in such a happy event.
Healthcare professionals at Regional Medical Center at Memphis deliver more than 4,000 babies each year. Of these, more than 1,000 premature or critically ill newborns are treated in the NICU. The Regional Medical Center at Memphis NICU takes a multidisciplinary approach to caring for the entire family and the inevitable challenges in dealing with critically ill newborns.
Pictured left to right are Cindy Williams, Marissa Reyes and Adriana Reyes.
Adriana was a patient in the NICU. Her grandmother Cindy was so moved by her experience in the NICU she was motivated to attend nursing school.