While the coronavirus pandemic has postponed many celebrations, doctors and nurses at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Kim and Steven Ullman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit didn’t let it stop them from celebrating their NICU graduates with a virtual reunion.
Over the weekend, NICU families were invited to join in on the eighth annual NICU Reunion from the comfort of their own homes.
“We’re pleased to be maintaining our NICU reunion tradition this year,” Lori Matzner, Henry Mayo’s director of the Center for Women and Newborns, said in a prepared statement. “Although we would prefer to see our NICU families in person, we hope the activities and entertainment we have prepared for them will be fun, engaging, and a means of staying connected to us.”
Though typically held at Dr. Richard H. Rioux Memorial Park in Stevenson Ranch, this year’s NICU Reunion still allowed families to celebrate their graduates with a video made by staff and a special message from Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in “Frozen.”
“I have visited with quite a few kids at quite a few hospitals, and I’m always amazed by the bravery, the courage and the incredible strength of all of those that I get to visit,” Gad said in the video, “but also, and just as importantly, I’m always amazed by the nurses who work in these incredible children’s hospitals and the doctors and everyone who is looking after the patients and making sure that everybody has a happy ending.”
In addition, NICU families could listen to story time with Tony Award-nominated Rory O’Malley from “Hamilton” or partake in a number of activities, including making animal masks or coloring pages in line with the #NICULetsGetWild theme, as well as other online activities, such as animal freeze dance and online games from National Geographic Kids.
Throughout the year, the Kim and Steven Ullman NICU provides world-class health care for SCV’s tiniest patients close to home, supporting Henry Mayo’s vision “to create the ideal patient-centered environment to surpass expectations.”
For more information on the eighth annual NICU Reunion, visit www.henrymayo.com/NICU2020.