Babies and kids everywhere—that’s how it was recently at a joyous event held by Poudre Valley Hospital.
We call the special event the Preemie Reunion because all of the kids have one thing in common: At one time they were premature or sickly infants treated in PVH’s neonatal intensive care unit.
The event has been held annually since the NICU opened in 2006. This year’s Preemie Reunion, attended by 420 kids and parents, had a safety theme so children and parents could learn about the availability of emergency response options in our community.
PVH’s ambulance service, Colorado State Patrol, Larimer County’s sheriff’s department, Poudre Fire Authority brought in emergency response vehicles to give educational tours. SafeKids of Larimer County also passed out safety information.
It’s exciting to see so many children coming back every year. It gives them and their parents the opportunity to reconnect with physicians and PVHS staff members who helped the babies get through those tough times when they were so small and fragile.
Without a doubt, some of the children may not have survived past infancy if not for the excellent care they received in the NICU.
More than 2,200 babies have been treated in the NICU.
Before the unit opened, infants in need of extreme care were transported to Denver hospitals for specialized treatment. The move to Denver could put a strain on a baby’s health as well as high stress on family members. So we decided to open the unit as a way to keep the babies and families in their home community.
The unit has a Level IIIa designation, one of the highest that can be achieved. PVH is the only hospital between Denver and Billings, Montana, that offers Level IIIa care.
PVH staff members who provide the care—nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists—are extensively trained in neonate critical care. The hospital has state-of-the-art ventilators, cardiac monitors, isolettes, and other equipment specially designed to treat tiny, sick infants.
Next year’s Preemie Reunion is still in the planning stages. If you have or know anyone has a child cared for in the NICU, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be on the mailing list for more information. The reunion is a time to celebrate life!