Nebraska Medicine Holds Reunion for Nurses and Former NICU Patients

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-10 22:01:15-04

They’re the hospital’s most vulnerable patients - premature babies, some born as early as 24 weeks along, and now they are growing strong thanks to their dedicated Neonatal Intensive Care team.


Saturday, the nurses and families reunited at Nebraska Medicine.


“I didn’t even know  I was in labor.  I thought they were going to send me home, put me on bed rest,” recalled Allyson Storoy.


A few days after Christmas of 2015, Storoy went to the Bellevue Medical Center complaining of cramps.  She was 24 weeks pregnant.


“They were like, ‘The babies are here.  Like, they’re coming right now,’” she Storoy.


She gave birth to twins at Bellevue Medical and was taken by ambulance in the middle of a snowstorm to Nebraska Medicine where the NICU facilities were better equipped.


Her baby girl died 5 days later, but baby Samuel survived.


“He was just so tiny.  He just still need[ed] to develop.  He came out and he was 1 lb. 11 oz.  He was bright pink, one eye open,” she described Samuel.


Allyson and her husband Hans spent 89 days in the NICU, but said their nurses made them feel at home.


“Such a traumatizing experience and they’re there to lift your spirits and help you feel better day to day.  So, we definitely appreciate everything they did,” said Storoy.


Saturday, over 200 former patients and family members came back to Nebraska Medicine to reunite with the nurses and doctors that saved their lives.


“It’s just great to see these babies from when they were teeny, teeny tiny to now they’re one, two, three even up to 10 years old.  To see how well they’ve matured and grown,” said nurse Sara Milliken.


Milliken says preemies need help breathing and learning to eat, and even experienced parents need help learning to care for someone so small.


“We take care of the babies and the parents will be on the other side and will help change diapers and take temperatures,”


All these babies are now growing strong thanks to their extended family at Nebraska Medicine.


“It makes you tear up when you see these babies and you’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh, look how good you guys look!” said Milliken.


Nebraska medicine’s NICU has been caring for newborns and preemies since 1968.  They hold the reunion annually and many families attend year after year.