They weren’t supposed to be born yet, and many of them are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but 39 tiny babies took an amazing journey Tuesday, May 5 – just a few days before what will certainly be a memorable Mother’s Day for their families.
Ranging in age from 1 day to 13 months, the infants were moved to the new 2-story Women’s Board of Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Kay Jewelers Pavilion.
About 100 staff members were on hand to ensure a smooth move and to watch over the precious cargo. It took about 15 minutes to move each baby 600 feet into their new temporary homes.
Akron Children’s new NICU is a big change from the infants’ previous home.
Instead of one room accommodating several babies, all of the neonates have their own private room, which has been shown to improve healing and get the babies home sooner.
Each of the 75 rooms includes a private bathroom, TV, sofa bed and comfy gliding chair – the perfect place for new moms to snuggle their babies on Mother’s Day.
“I’m looking forward to getting into our new room today,” said Sarah Kusznir, whose son, Nicolas, has been in the NICU since he was born 3 weeks ago. “We have 4 other children so it would be nice to have private space. It’s still difficult for me to move around so being able to stay with him and sleep in the same room as him will make a big difference.”
In the past year, Children’s has had more than 570 NICU admissions to its downtown Akron campus. The facility also has 2 delivery rooms to accommodate mothers with high-risk deliveries.
“We know from caring for families at our NICU, and research, that babies tend to improve faster in individual rooms,” said Christine Young, director of nursing, neonatal services. “It’s just so much easier for families to all be in one room with their own space – it’s better for bonding, nursing, and even in helping families have an understanding of what it will be like to care for their baby once they’re out of the hospital.”
As part of our year-long anniversary celebration, we’re telling the story of Akron Children’s through the eyes of past and present employees, doctors, donors, volunteers and patient families. We encourage you to share your own memories and stories about us.