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YRMC hosts NICU 'graduation' reunion
When baby Robert "Robbie" James Enock was born June 24, there was an immediate problem: His right lung was collapsed, and he ended up staying in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 10 days.
"I didn't know how really bad he was at the beginning," said Robbie's mother, Lesley Enock. She said she thought, "Oh God, they hadn't given him to me, so what's happening?"
But with help from the staff at Yuma Regional Medical Center, Robbie got better and recently "graduated" from the NICU.
Enock said reassurance from the staff helped them through the ordeal. It was "a bad experience but made good by the staff."
Robbie and his parents, Chris and Lesley Enock, along with other families and tiny graduates, were brought together with NICU staff at the fifth annual NICU Celebration of Life Saturday at the Yuma Civic Center.
The reunion event not only provided an opportunity for families to reconnect with NICU staff, but also with each other.
"It's just nice to share stories with different people and talk about what happened to them," said Lesley Enock.
NICU nurse Natalie McPherson, coordinator of the NICU Celebration of Life, said it's nice for families to get together with other families that may have similar issues.
"They can network and maybe exchange phone numbers, maybe have a play date (and) have that support out there that someone has been in a similar situation," McPherson said.
For the Enocks, the event represented another opportunity to thank the staff that helped Robbie become the healthy baby that he is today.
"It was pretty apparent to us that Robert was getting a lot of attention from some very experienced nurses," Christopher Enock said.
The event was funded by donations from the community, and various components such as the disk jockey and bounce houses were sponsored by community members.
There were also educational booths at the reunion, where different specialists could offer educational material and meet with the families.
McPherson said it's great to see the families at the event.
"It's great knowing that all that hard work you put in and the family's all together. It's just an awesome thing to see, to know that you made a difference."