Premature babies reunited with ICU staff

Published: April 24, 2006 | 4085th good news item since 2003

It was a family reunion of sorts at Bailey Square Park in Central Austin.

Hundreds of families gathered for Seton Medical Center’s 31st neonatal reunion. It’s a chance for families of premature babies to say thanks to the doctors and nurses who many say are the reason their children are alive today.

Ava, Faith and Claire Price weighed less than two pounds each when they were born in March 2005.

“They were all very sick. They all had the typical preemie issues – heart issues, breathing issues,” mother Jackie Price said.

Those issues are no longer a problem after some time in Seton’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“They fall in love with the children too and provide such loving support for all the babies in the NICU, and they’re just extremely talented medical professionals,” Jackie said.

Thirty-one years ago, 23 children and their families met for the first neonatal reunion at Seton Medical Center. This year, more than 700 turned out.

“I recognize the parents’ faces and then I figure out who the children are and then they tell us how old they are and some of them are so beautiful. They all bring back special memories … Babies will continue to be born premature and sick and need our services, so it really does feel good to see them healthy and grown and happy and running around,” Dr. Susan Landers said.

The neonatal intensive care unit has grown from one doctor in 1972 to a staff of 12 doctors and 90 nurses. About 700 premature babies are admitted each year.

Published in Kids & Teens, Premature Babies, Reunited
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