CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South celebrates its tiniest patients with the annual NICU Reunion.
By: Steven Alford
Photography by: Carla Falconi Swallow
Nothing can be harder for parents than to know their child’s health is hanging in the balance. At CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South, the dedicated nurses and physicians of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) know this all too well, as they provide care each day for the most fragile of patients. That’s what makes the hospital’s annual NICU Reunion so special for families and CHRISTUS Spohn-South’s Neonatal Team. It’s a way to bring them all together and celebrate.
“NICU families develop real bonds, and they like coming back to see all the doctors and nurses from when they were here,” said Anne Jones, NICU manager at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South. “It’s a very positive thing to have them all here again.”
This year’s event saw the largest draw ever to the hospital, with more than 100 former NICU patients and their families filling the hospital lobby. Attendees came dressed in cute animal costumes to coincide with the reunion’s “Down on the Farm” theme. They enjoyed snacks, games and prizes amid the hospital’s fun farm decorations.
It touches the hearts of the NICU nurses and doctors to see them all again, according to Mark Casanova, president of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South: “We had a wonderful time seeing how much our patients have grown and how well they are doing. It’s always good to host an event that brings family and former patients together with their care providers.”
These reunions are a special time for families to visit the NICU under happier circumstances and to say, “thank you,” to the NICU team, Casanova added. These were once babies in the NICU who were born too small or too sick, or who just needed extra help to take on the world.
CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-South is home to a Level III NICU, allowing babies with special needs to stay close to their recovering mothers. The neonatal nurses alone have more than 100 years of combined experience caring for the tiniest, most critically ill patients. The hospital also has a specialized neonate transport team that remains ready to transport fragile babies from any CHRISTUS Spohn hospital to the state-of-the-art level of neonatal care provided at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi – South.
“It’s a celebration of life,” Jones said. “We love seeing how these babies have grown up to be healthy and happy.”
CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal Bend. The health system is consistently ranked a health care leader in the area, and it has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For more than 100 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high-caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves. For additional information, visit www.christusspohn.org.
To learn more about CHRISTUS Spohn Birthing Services and the NICU team, please visit www.christusspohn.org/birthingservices.