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Reuniting families and staff at NICU Fun Day

In a year,  Grand River Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) cares for 700 babies. These tiny patients can stay in the hospital from weeks to months and during this time, families and staff form a very special bond.

The first-ever NICU Fun Day brought together hundreds of these families and hospital staff. From newborns to teens, graduates of the program were able to meet members of the NICU team that cared for them.

Nicole Benbow, who helped organize the event, attended with her husband and two boys, Asher and Elijah. Both her boys spent time in NICU. “I really connected with the nurses and the doctors, and when I went back (to Grand River) two years later they remembered who I was, and they called me by name,” said Nicole. “I’m so happy we were able to connect again with the staff and they could see how well we’re doing. I hope this event will be held again.”

About 300 parents and children came out to Victoria Park Pavilion to celebrate. The children enjoyed games, activities, music and special guests Erik Traplin and the Paw Patrol.

“This was a great opportunity for the staff to reconnect with their patients, and it really meant a lot to them,” said Patricia Blancher, interim director of the children’s and childbirth programs at Grand River Hospital.

To stay up to date about future NICU events visit www.grhf.org/events.