On Saturday morning, May 13, an annual event at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center brought dozens of healthy, spirited children back to the place where life began for them under not-so-certain circumstances.

Sixty-seven families, for a total of 249 guests, included children who “graduated” from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) gathering to reconnect with staff who helped parents and their babies while they received specialized care after birth.

The annual reunion celebrates the health of children who relied on Christiana Care’s NICU, the only Level III NICU at a high-risk delivering hospital in Delaware.

Christiana Care’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s tradition of inviting children who passed though the NICU usually brings many youngsters back to Christiana Hospital to enjoy the shared experience of having navigated troubled waters at their birth.

“Planning the reunion is a team effort,” said NICU Assistant Nurse Manager Bonnie Chavez, BSN, RNC. “I enjoy being a part of this team and working with others to make it happen every year. We are learning new things every year about how to change and improve our communication with the families of our patients. It is always a pleasure to see the babies when they have gotten stronger and bigger. Talking with the families reaffirms what we do for them every day. It is our privilege to care for these remarkable babies and nurture them and the families moving toward discharge and better health outside the hospital.”