WHO: Overland Park Regional Medical Center (OPRMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which cares for more NICU babies in Kansas City than any other hospital.
WHAT: Annual NICU reunion that is attended by 1,000 guests, including patient graduates, families, nurses and physicians. Outdoor activities will include bounce houses, face painting, balloon artists, arts and crafts, and magician Dino O’Dell. There will also be a video booth for families to share their own special NICU story.
WHEN: 1 - 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
WHERE: Overland Park Regional Medical Center Campus, Medical Plaza West, 12200 W. 106th St., Overland Park, Kan. 66215 (Reunion parking available at Medical Plaza West and across 106th St. at Sarah Cannon Cancer Center.
WHY: More than 1,000 people are expected to attend this joyous Celebration of Life, including recent and past NICU patients, their families and NICU nurses and physicians. For some, it’s been only a year; for other children, it’s been nearly 24 years since their NICU experience. The annual reunion, marking its 24th year at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, which has a Level III3B NICU, gives former patients, their parents and siblings an opportunity to reconnect with many of the caregivers who became their extended families in the NICU. Several sets of multiples are expected to attend.
“This is one of the most poignant events we hold each year,” says Kevin J. Hicks, Chief Executive Officer, Overland Park Regional Medical Center. “To witness the genuine and joyous reunions between our compassionate and caring NICU medical staff and the babies whose lives they have saved—and the parents who kept vigil over their children— is an extraordinary moment in our cycle of healthcare.”
Some of the families attending include:
*The Higgins of Olathe and their children, both NICU graduates: Carter, who stayed at the NICU for 100 days following his birth in 2011; and little sister, Reese, who stayed in the NICU for 31 days following her birth on May 4, 2015. This will be the family’s fourth NICU reunion and mom Ashley looks forward to the event. “We enjoy being able to visit with nurses and doctors that took care of our son and this year we will look forward to visiting with many of those same nurses who also cared for our daughter,” Higgins says. “We also enjoy catching up with several families that we befriended while in the NICU with both our son and daughter. You are able to get to know different parents while in the NICU during your stay, but you don't necessarily get to meet their children so this is a great opportunity to be able to meet those children and also see many of those parents for the first time since you left.”
*Dani Scrivani and her family of Lansing, Kansas, will attend the OPRMC NICU for the first time. Hazel Mae was born on July 7, 2015; she was born early at 35 weeks and weighed 4 pounds 15 ounces. Hazel was in the NICU for 23 days. “There are hardly words to describe the appreciation we feel for the entire NICU staff,” Dani says. “They became my friends and helped keep my emotions and feelings in check all while providing amazing care for our daughter. We depended on them and they went above and beyond for us. We can never truly show the depth of our appreciation. We look forward to the reunion to get another opportunity to share with staff our gratitude. I can’t think of our time there without both a smile and tears of gratitude in my eyes.”
For more information, visit oprmc.com or call (913) 541-4000.