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New Beacon Children's Hospital opens at Memorial

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

The new Beacon Children’s Hospital officially opened Wednesday in South Bend.

The facility is more than 15 years and $50 million in the making, and will start treating patients next week.

Dozens of Memorial’s youngest patients and former patients dressed as fireflies to celebrate, including Jen and Lyle Unger’s three little ones.

“We spent so much time here, first with the triplets we had that we lost and then with the quads,” Jen said.

The Ungers lost three triplets at birth in 2014, and one of their quads the following year.

With her three healthy children, Jen says the new facility would have done wonders for her, because newborns can now be treated in the same room as their mothers.

“Just being away from your babies when you’re trying to recover after birth it’s just so much comforting to know that you’re going to be right there in the same room that you don’t have to try to get up out of your bed,” Jen said.

Stories like the Ungers' inspired the design of the new hospital, attached to Memorial.

The capabilities of the new building are what attracted Dr. Andreas Deymann to the job.

Now, he is the director of intensive care pediatrics.

“The ability to have the parents stay and help us guide the care of the patient at any given time is invaluable,” Deymann said.

The two-floor children’s hospital also has brand new tools.

“State of the art monitoring systems allow us to respond to problems much earlier than we could in the past,” Deymann said.

Beacon Health System CEO Phil Newbold says all that is missing is a pediatric surgeon, but he is trying to recruit one.

“We’ll take care of them, and that really helps people also stay closer to home, and making sure that the services are available here,” Newbold said.

Services aside,  the space looks more like a children’s museum than a children’s hospital.

Everything is outdoor and firefly themed, with plenty of natural light to provide hope for families.

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