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On Sunday, June 12, the skies in Syracuse were grey and cloudy. Inside Crouse Hospital, however, there was light and sunshine as the smiles of 270 people filled the hospital's Clock Tower Cafe. Here, 270 people of all ages came together for the 30th NICU Graduates Reunion to affirm life and celebrate children who spent their first days, weeks and months in the hospital's Walter R.G. Baker Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
"The NICU Reunion is a wonderful event, bringing together the babies, parents and families to re-connnect with the physicians and nurses who cared for them," said Kathy Costello, nurse manager of the NICU.
Guests at the 2011 NICU Reunion
Logan Coseo, son of Dee and Dale Coseo of Brewerton, was not premature, but he was born on April 26, 2006 at 6 lbs., 8 oz., with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. The lion look was created by NICU Clinical Nursing Supervisor, Naomi Seymour.
Benecia Johnson, daughter of Tara Brown, was born Feb. 20, 2009, arriving two months early and weighing in at 2 lbs., 3 oz.
Josh Miner of Camillus is living proof that a very, very tiny NICU baby can grow up and achieve great things. Josh was born Feb. 24, 1993 with a birth weight of a mere 1 lb., 7 oz. He is now 18 and will graduate from West Genesee High School on June 18. Josh has earned 36 Boy Scout badges, and last year became an Eagle Scout. He now is an assistant scoutmaster, helping his dad, Don Miner, with the troop in Warners. Way to go, Josh!
Meah Davoli was born Nov. 25, 2006 at just 24 weeks, and weighed 1 lb., 6 oz. at birth. A healthy near-five-year-old, Meah and her parents, Becky and Phil Davoli, are expecting a new addition to the family in August.
Tyler and Emma Fuller of Syracuse were born at 32 weeks. At birth, Tyler weighed 2 lbs., 6 oz. and Emma 3 lbs., 3 oz. Their mother, Carrie, and grandmother Jane, both say the nurses at Crouse were exceptional in caring for the twins in the NICU.
Nicholas and Nathan Smiley of Dryden are true to their name, all smiles now that they are happy, healthy toddlers. Nicholas weighed 4 lbs., 2 oz. at birth, while brother Nathan was 2 lbs., 13 oz. Giving them a warm hug of welcome is Crouse neonatalogist Michelle Bode, MD.
NICU Clinical Supervisor Naomi Seymour shares her artistic skills and love of children during face and hand painting at the reunion.
Deborah Neuman, RN, is a nurse on the NICU who's known for going the extra mile for her tiniest patients and their families. In fact, in April she won a "Crouse Choice Award" for the many photo remembrance projects she completes for families. She and daughter Jen (a future nurse) put their skills to great use at the event by making photo cards for those who attended.