Rush-Copley NICU Tour

December 4, 2012

About 2 weeks ago, I had the honor of sharing my son’s story at the hospital where he was born during a legislators’ tour of the Rush-Copley NICU, organized by the Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition.

This experience gave me the opportunity to share first-hand what my husband and I have been through with our son over the past 4 years, to give the legislators and media some idea the struggles that NICU families can face, to help them find ways.  Joel Brens, of Papas of Preemies, also presented his son’s story and showed the remarkable comparison of Jayden’s coming home outfit to a shirt he wears today (see image below).

From the Beacon News on 11/19/2012.
Scan courtesy of Rush-Copley Medical Center.

A more in-depth article plus photos were published by the Daily Herald, and appeared on their front page on November 27, 2012.  Kelly and Gena also attended, helping to represent Life after NICU, and calm any last-minute jitters I had.  🙂

Towards the end of my presentation, my husband brought Connor into the room for his big “reveal”.  Although he was a little shy in front of so many people, Connor was able to {softly} sing one of his preschool songs for the group.  Afterwards, we all walked down the familiar halls to the NICU, and showed Connor (from the hallway, through an open door) the room where he spent his first several months fighting to survive.

At the end of the tour, Kelly, Gena, and I were thrilled to pick up our Volunteer Applications.  Beginning in the new year, we will be allowed to return to the NICU as graduate parents to offer face-to-face support to families currently there.  This is a goal we’ve had since Day 1 of founding Life after NICU, and we’re so humbled and excited that it’s finally happening.  🙂