From the Mouths of Babes: a NICU reunion for child ‘grads’

Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-29 17:10:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Since its inception in 1973, Spectrum Health’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has grown to become one of the nation’s ten largest contiguous NICUs. And this weekend, many of the families that have been served there reunited.

Photos courtesy: Spectrum Health

However, the Saturday celebration wasn’t held in the NICU at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital but – rather – at the Salvation Army Kroc Corps Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. SE. Hosting the event were the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center and the March of Dimes NICU Family Support.

Among the more than 1,000 people that event organizers expected to attend were joyous sounds from the mouths of babes and NICU “graduates” – older children who got a chance to pet the animals at the Kroc Center and play music with the adults. 

They served as a testament to the urgent service given yearly to more than 1,400 newborns at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

With 108 beds, the NICU there is the only Level IV neonatal Intensive Care Unit in West Michigan.