10th annual NICU Reunion delights families at Louisville Waterfront Park

May 12 event reunites caregivers and patients for family-friendly fun

More than 2,500 former Norton Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients and their families reunited with the doctors and nurses who saved their lives on Saturday, May 12, for the 10th annual NICU Reunion at Louisville Waterfront Park.

Attendees enjoyed a kids’ play zone, sand activities, face painting and more. The event was made possible through support from the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Gordon Food Service.

More than 1,500 premature and critically ill babies are cared for at the Norton Children’s Hospital NICU every year. Some spend just a few days in the unit, while others stay for months. Because of the intense level of care provided, the NICU and staff become a second home and family during an extremely difficult time.

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Norton Children’s Hospital’s Level IV NICU provides the highest level of care. In many cases, newborns from around the region, including Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana, are brought to the NICU by the “Just for Kids” Transport Team.

The pediatric surgeons and other providers at Norton Children’s Hospital repair complex birth defects or acquired conditions. Norton Children’s also offers ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) heart-lung bypass. The Level IV NICU also is home to a full range of pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists and pediatric anesthesiologists.