MAYWOOD, IL – Vanessa Naples was only 25 weeks pregnant when she was transferred to Loyola Medicine to deliver her daughter Alanna.
Alanna was born at 1 pound, 4 ounces and would spend 80 days in Loyola's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). During that time she underwent a procedure to fix a hole in the aorta. Ms. Naples said the clinicians at Loyola's NICU helped her feel at home during those uncertain days.
"They were very calming," Ms. Naples said. "I never felt any panic when Alanna was being cared for."
Alanna, age 3, will return to Loyola on Sunday, June 24 at 1 pm when Loyola celebrates a NICU reunion with former families and their caregivers.
"It's great to have the opportunity to show the nurses and doctors what their hard work did," Ms. Naples said. "Their exceptional care is the reason Alanna is doing so well today."
The reunion will be held at Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Avenue, Maywood, on the grounds between the hospital and the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Families who are interested in attending should contact Angel Lampkin-Kwabena, RN, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The reunion is special not just for the families but for our staff as well," Ms. Lampkin-Kwabena said. "Many of the babies have prolonged stays in our unit and we forge close relationships with the families during that time. It's always great to see them flourishing and reconnect with their families."
Loyola's Level III, 50-bed NICU offers the latest technology, therapies and techniques, and serves as a national model for specialized protocols and practices in the care of premature infants. The unit recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.