AUSTIN (KXAN) – For children who spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, the doctors and nurses who cared for them are often considered family. On Saturday, those who successfully left the NICU behind them were given the chance to reunite with their caregivers.
At an outdoor celebration, young children ran around St. David’s Women’s Center like any other kids their age but each and every one of them have something in common- they all had a difficult start to life.
“These babies who were on ventilators, who had problems feeding, who even had problems breathing, they are out here, they are running around, they are riding little ponies,” said St. David’s Assistant Chief Nursing Officer Yvette Mcdonald.
It’s all part of St. David’s Women’s Center NICU reunion. Many of these babies were born premature or with other complications. While in the hospital, they of course had the love of their parents to help them grow but a few strangers were welcomed in as well.
“Some of our babies are there for three months; they really get to know the nurses and doctors, so we become part of their family,” said Mcdonald.
For the Aly family, that’s exactly what the staff at St. David’s feels like. “They gave us a dream and now we get to live this beautiful dream every day because they cared for them and let them finish developing,” said the mother of triplets Carly Aly.
The Aly triplets are now four months old but after being born seven weeks premature, they spent their first three weeks in the NICU.
“For your babies to spend the night somewhere else and not with you, it’s definitely tough,” said the dad of the triplets Tarek Aly.
Tarek says his children are thriving, and now that they are back home, he isn’t missing a moment.
“It’s fun, sleepless, tiresome, but fantastic. We do get a lot of comments of ‘oh my God, God be with you!’ or ‘I don’t know how you live like this’ but it’s fun, we think it’s hilarious!” said Tarek.
For the family of now 5, these moments are all thanks to their hard working doctors. Now, instead of being trapped inside the hospital, the Aly family has a chance to celebrate with dozens of others who know all too well what their family has been through.
“It feels great to be here with no stress, no worry!” said Tarek.