One of the projects I’ve been working on for the new Mercy Hospital is images for the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Nursery. I worked with a committee and decorator on the project and as we were trying to decide what kind of images to use in the NICU, I decided to ask the people with the greatest insight….parents who’d had a child in the NICU. (We wanted to be sensitive to parents who have a child who is ill by not having images of all healthy babies displayed around the NICU.)
I am part of an online forum and wrote a post explaining what I was working on and asked for input and advice from parents who’d had a child in the NICU. I received many helpful and insightful replies to my post from people all over the country. There were several people who mentioned that at the hospital their child was in, there were pictures of NICU graduates….older children who were once in the NICU, but were now older and healthier. They said seeing the pictures gave them hope and encouragement, which is what they needed most. We loved the idea and decided to go that direction.
Sooooo….. I have had the honor and priviledge of photographing 9 children so far who are NICU graduates. They range from age 2 1/2 to 9 and were born anywhere from 25 weeks to 40 weeks. They are all doing great now and I had such a great time photographing them.
The hospital opens on March 16th, so I can’t post the pictures which will be on display until then. Instead, every day or so until the hospital opens, I’m going to post a picture different than the one being used at the hospital of each NICU grad.
Our first NICU grad is……
P A R K E R
This little bundle of energy really got my heart. He was an actual little miracle walking though my studio door! He came into the world at TWENTY FIVE weeks and weighed 1 pound., 10 ounces. He was in the NICU for 12 weeks and is now an adorable, active 4 year old. He had to spend some time at Children’s Hospital and his mom told me that they’ve gone back a couple of times to visit the doctors and nurses who took care of him. She said each time they’ve gone, the doctors and nurses cried when they saw him. How amazing for them to get to see a four year old they took care of who once weighed less than 2 pounds!