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NICU patients reunite with staff at annual celebration

Former Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients and their families celebrated with the staff at Saint Joseph Medical Center in Mishawaka at their annual reunion on Sunday.

Mishawaka mom Lynn Pride’s first four pregnancies went normally. But in June, twins Lily and Lincoln, were born two months early.

“Nobody ever plans to have their babies early. So when you go into an unplanned situation and unknown territory it was very scary,” said Pride.

The babies needed respiratory support and couldn’t feed on their own, spending the first six weeks of their lives in the NICU.

Pride formed a close bond with NICU nurse Kate Cunningham.

“These two twins were just really special to us. I’d just go into her room and hang out sometimes and just talk. I’d go in and keep her company and we’d pass the day that way together, sharing life stories. We really bonded together,” said Cunningham.

“It wasn’t just care for the babies it was care for the families. We wouldn’t have made it through without them,” said Pride.

Now healthier and living at home, the twins and the rest of the Pride family reunited with Cunningham and the other NICU nurses and doctors at the annual celebration.

NICU Nurse Manager  Lisa Nichols says her staff greatly values their relationships the patients and their families.

“All of our families are special but some that are here a long time you just form really family relationships with. It is just the most rewarding feeling, it’s what makes you come back everyday,” said Nichols, NICU Nurse Manager

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