Baptist Children’s Hospital hosts NICU reunion for first time in four years

Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 11:10 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been four years since Baptist Children’s Hospital has been able to host its NICU reunion.

The event allows families to reconnect with the medical team—nurses especially—who cared for their babies at their most vulnerable.

“The nurses here are just phenomenal, just like a second family,” Katelyn Asbury said.

It was the reunion four years in the making, at Baptist Women’s Hospital.

A reunion that many parents say would not have been possible without the heartfelt care, from doctors, nurses, and medical staff as their babies fought for their lives in the NICU.

“It’s good,” Preston Asbury said. It’s good to see everybody and let them know that they know what they’re doing, they did a good job with him, and seeing his progression it’s just nice reminiscing everybody about him.”

Preston and Katelyn Asbury’s son, Lincoln, was born at 26 weeks weighing 1.3 pounds.

He had a 40-percent chance of survival.

“It is frightening,” Katelyn said. “It can be very overwhelming, but there are plenty of people that have walked this story. There’s always going to be someone that may be ahead of you or behind you but just stay on your course, on your pace ... every baby’s different and they will get there in their time.”

Little Lincoln turns 4 this November.

Kelly and John Saiz remember the Asbury’s from their time with their baby at the NICU.

Their son Elijah spent 72 days there, after being born at just two pounds.

“The nurses the doctors, the phlebotomists, everybody that walks into that NICU, walked in there with a Godly purpose every single day and they saved babies,

Kelly Saiz said. If wasn’t for them, he wouldn’t be here, he almost died on us twice, and they saved his life, God saved his life.”

Kelly says she spent day and night at her baby’s side in the NICU and as hard as his recovery was, she urges other moms going through similar situations to never give up.

“You have to be strong for these babies,” she said. You have to be the voice for these babies, you are everything for these babies and they’re fighting trust me. They’re fighting but they get that from you ... just hold on, love the nurses because they’re there to take care of your babies, love them nurses and don’t give up.”

We also spoke with Dr. Jacques Samson, a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at Baptist.

He says his patients are like family and today’s reunion rejuvenates them and serves as a reminder about why they do the work they do.

“Seeing them growing up is just .... words cannot express the feeling that I get by seeing the hard work and the reward for a healthy baby,” Dr. Samson said.

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