SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Hundreds of families of babies once cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Sharp Mary Birch were reunited with their medical teams on Saturday.
Sharp Mary Birch hosted its annual NICU Little Graduates Reunion at NTC Park at Liberty Station. The hospital holds the event each fall. The event is an opportunity for past NICU families to reunite with the doctors, nurses and team members who cared for them during their stay and celebrate their child’s health.
Aldy and Alan Serrano went with their son, Xander. Xander weighed just 14 ounces when he was born in 2016. Xander spent nearly four months in the NICU at Sharp Mary Birch. Besides seeing doctors and nurses, the Serrano's are thankful to be reunited with other families who also had children in the NICU during that time.
"When you're going through it, it's very difficult to explain to other people how you're feeling and whats actually happening. It's nice to have somebody to relate to," Aldy said.
They have made relationships that will last a lifetime.
"We have several friends we met during our NICU stay that are now like family," Aldy said. "The challenges in the NICU don't stop in the NICU. As they grow up, there are so many other things that can happen that they can relate to."
Xander is now an active happy and healthy toddler. He will be two at the end of the month.
The reunion event also had a bounce house, bubble station, music, costumed Storm Troopers and games for all ages to enjoy.
Sharp Mary Birch offers a full range of maternity, neonatal, and women’s surgical services, and delivers more than 9,000 babies annually. It has the region's largest NICU with 84 beds.