Saturday, Feb 10 was the BSA NICU Graduation.
This Valentine’s theme party is a celebration of all the survivors of the NICU.
When these babies grow and get better, they leave but it doesn’t mean the hospital workers stop caring. They were all brought back together.
“It’s an opportunity to see all the babies and see how they’ve grown over the years,” Kelly Clements of BSA said.
Clements said the unit gets about 300 babies a year. Some of them stay for a few days, some stay for four to six months. Nora Tuttle stayed in the NICU for 40 days due to complications at birth.
“Being in the NICU isn’t something anybody wants to do. It’s not a club anybody wants to be a part of,” Liz Tuttle, parent of Nora said. “You’re in it together. You see other parents every day. Coming to go see their kids the same time you see yours, you have a connection.”
Clements said the majority of babies that come into the NICE are premature. Hannah Ellis is no exception. She was born five weeks early.
“Right out of the c-section room, they whisked her down the hall and they took her to the NICU,” Lisa Brown, parent of Hannah said. “That was the start of our scary 10 days.”
Tuttle said she was scared but having the doctors and nurses by her side made the experience easier.
“It was very scary,” Tuttle said. “Nora struggled a lot during those 40 days. But we were incredibly blessed to have the doctors and nurses caring for her. They loved her like their own.”
Hannah is now in Upwards Basketball and wants to play on the collegiate level at West Texas A&M University. Brown said when people see her, they have no idea she was premature.
“Just because you were born prematurely doesn’t make you different than anyone else,” Hannah said. “You can still do the same things as everyone else.”