July 08, 2011
Ryan and Kimberly Andreen with their daughter Elianna, 6.
Melanie and Marcus Anderson stopped by with their 11-month-old NICU grads Marcus and Mason.
Hundreds of adults and children returned to Johns Hopkins
on July 7 for Hopkins Children’s annual neonatal intensive care
unit (NICU) reunion. Families cruised the Turner Building
concourse on the East Baltimore campus, seeking out the faculty and staff who
helped make possible the lives of many of the children tucked in strollers,
cuddled in arms or helping themselves to a slice of cake or plate of cheese and
crackers at the food tables.
“This is what I live for,” said NICU nurse Cheryl Stephens,
who attends the annual reunions. “I get to see my kids grow and do well. We’re
so privileged to help someone begin their lives.”
“The nurses supporting us gave us hope,” says Ryan Andreen,
whose daughter Elianna, 6, began her life in the N ICU and is now thriving.
“They did everything to support her and us, to help us all survive.”
Returning patients could receive diplomas, reminders of “how well you did.” All were graduated “summa cum NICU.”
Regarded as a Center of Excellence in newborn care, the
Hopkins Children’s NICU has 45 acute-care beds for premature infants and
infants born with cardiac, pulmonary or surgical problems.