Thursday, October 29, 2009

Loyola Premies to Dress Up for Halloween

Nurses to make costumes for hospital’s smallest patients

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Little ghosts and goblins will descend on Loyola University Health System’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) this Halloween when the hospital’s smallest patients don costumes created by the nurses.

“Our nurses have been making costumes for our patients for more than 30 years,” said Elaine Trulis, RN, manager, NICU. “We look forward to this tradition every year, because it helps to bring joy to these parents who are coping with a great deal.”

NICU nurses will spend their free-time this week making these custom-made costumes. In the past, costumes have ranged from little princesses to cowboys to vampires. Other favorites have included a pint-size Harry Potter and Howard Stern.

“The costumes have become increasingly more elaborate over the years,” said Robin Todus, RN. “We have even added some humor to this tradition and found that it helps to lighten the mood.”

Faith Garza will be among the NICU patients who will be dressed for the occasion this Saturday. Todus, her primary nurse, created a homemade ladybug costume for her.

“Her parents decorated her home nursery in ladybugs,” said Todus. “I wanted to take this idea a step further by creating a costume that complements this theme.”

Heidi Garza delivered daughter Faith on Sept. 4, 14 weeks premature. Her little one was just two pounds and 14 ½ inches long at birth. Today, Garza is thriving. She has doubled in size, and her nurses expect her to go home shortly after she celebrates Halloween at Loyola.

“We are so grateful to these nurses for their creativity and compassion. They have truly become a second family to us, and I look forward to sharing this Halloween celebration with them,” said Garza. “We also have gotten to know the other families well, because we spend so much time together. These costumes will give us all a sense of normalcy as our babies get stronger and prepare for the transition home.”

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.