BANGOR – Project NICU held its annual reunion event at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. For some, their experience at the hospital has created a special bond.
It was a party at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. Families gathered Sunday afternoon in a small room to greet staff from the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“Dealing with the things that they have to deal with in the NICU is very different. It’s very unique,” said Lisa Barnett a staff nurse in the NICU.
Parents of babies who began life needing some extra help, showed how grateful they are of the care they were given.
“When you’re in the NICU, these staff members are like family to you,” said Heidi Sharpe, Chair of Project NICU.
That holds true for Katie Mayo and nurse Lisa Barnett.
“She’s a very dear person to me, I think of her as one of my children almost,” said Barnett.
Katie went into labor with her daughter summer 3 months early.
“I was afraid, I was afraid for the well-being of my child,” said Mayo.
Summer was born at 2 pounds 15 ounces and already had a giant personality.
“With small babies we don’t always see such a nice beautiful cry, but from the moment summer was born she was very good at letting us know she was there,” said Barnett.
Katie and her family spent over 40 days in the NICU. A place she said gave her confidence and support.
“They were helping us with everything. You know it wasn’t my first time as a mom, but it was my first time with a 2-pounder,” said Mayo.
Summer isn’t the only premature baby, and Katie’s not alone. She joined several other parents who’ve gone through a similar journey.
“I think comradery of parents, of other NICU grads is so cool and we’ve been through something that’s crazy and I know how strong they are,” said Mayo.