Everyone is Just Like Family at the NICU Reunion

2012-10-26 15:12:08 by Sarah Plant, Patient Family, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

The Plants got to meet up with their best friends at Akron Children's NICU Reunion.

The NICU Reunion was definitely as exciting as we hoped it would be, and I’m pretty sure that it rivals our family reunions for seeing amounts of people we know and love all in one place!

Our day started out when we left home at 10 a.m. to meet Tailyn (Bekah’s NICU TLC roommate) and her parents for lunch before the reunion. We were excited to see them and to have some time alone before we saw everyone else.

We had a good time visiting, but what I found interesting is how both girls seem to recognize each other, and each other’s parents, every time we meet.  I know that we all have pictures of each other, and that the girls are not really afraid of strangers because they both have spent the last year seeing all sorts of people, but the little glimmer of recognition still amazes me.

Bekah got to visit with Becky, her primary NICU nurse at Akron Children's.

They both always seem to, if not recognize, at least trust and willingly go to most of the doctors and nurses who took care of them in the hospital, especially their primary nurse, Becky. Bekah even kissed Becky once at the reunion (a trademark, slobbery, open mouth kiss that she’s been giving) and Becky didn’t even seem to mind the slobber—well, not too much.

From the time we entered the arena at the reunion, until the time we left, we never once stopped having fun. In fact, there were lots of things to do for kids of all ages, and lots of people for parents to visit with and give updates to.  We spent the first hour or so just hanging out with Tailyn and her parents and talking to reporters, nurses and doctors.

We got to catch up with some NICU pals at the reunion.

Chris, the Bekster and I spent the next hour helping out at one of the tables where kids and parents alike could make thank-you cards. We were only supposed to be there half an hour, but I was having too much fun watching all of the kids write notes and use foam stickers to leave when our time was up.

Some of them had the most amazing things to say, and the most incredible stories of survival. It was really nice to witness their thankful spirits and to visit with their parents.

Bekah's scrapbook page

By the time we finished up our turn at the thank-you table, we hurried to look at all of the other activities that were going on. Chris took Bekah to check out the transport bus while I quickly stuck some pictures on a piece of paper and added it to what will become a scrapbook for display in the NICU.

I regret to admit, however, that I forgot to put Bekah’s birthday on the page, and barely remembered that her name should be on it. I hope Bekah inherited some craft skills from someone else because otherwise she’s going to be trying to pay someone to do her school projects.

The only bad part about last Sunday’s NICU Reunion is that we have to wait until next year to do it all again. We’ll start the countdown right after we get her birthday and Christmas out of the way.

Read the rest of Sarah and Rebekah’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.

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