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Neonatal unit baby graduates reunite

After a successful inaugural event last year, families of babies cared for at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow reunited last Sunday (7 July) to catch up with each other and members of the NICU team.

Image representing Neonatal unit baby graduates reunite

The annual event is a day to remember for the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), as more than 300 families got together at Paringdon Sports Club in Harlow.

Parents were pleased to meet others who had been through similar experiences, which was something they all had in common. It was also the chance to meet again with many of the team from the hospital who cared for the babies when they were at their smallest and most vulnerable.

The unit cares for ill and premature newborn infants. On average, 30babies are cared for on the unit every month. The day to reunite was made possible through the efforts of Katie Barke, neonatal practice development nurse, Janelle Gardner, neonatal unit manager, and the NICU team along with kind sponsorship from local security company, Harlow Land Sheriffs for the second year running.

Kylie Brook, mum of premature baby boy, Toby, said: "The lovely ladies who work in the NICU will always hold a special place in our hearts for looking after our baby when we couldn't always be with him. He wouldn't be here without them and we will never forget their care and support. The NICU nurses are all special, as are all the little superheroes at the reunion. It has been a lovely afternoon."

Janelle Gardner, neonatal unit manager added: "The event was full of happiness and emotion as we reunited with our NICU graduates - it was fantastic to see a huge turnout. It is great to hear how much the parents valued the experience and the support and care they received whilst on NICU."

Tyler Lemay, Harlow Land Sheriffs said: "We are thrilled to see the large turnout for the second year running and felt proud to be involved in supporting such a great event."

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