Hundreds gather for annual NICU reunion

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NICU reunion

SAN DIEGO –

Nearly 750 people came together Saturday at the Naval Medical Center’s 36th Annual Nicu Reunion. All the families had one thing in common: a child who had spent time at the hospital’s NICU unit.

“Every time my phone rang and I wasn’t here, I was afraid it was the hospital with bad news,” said mother Synthia Dorsey.

Her son Isaiah was born after 23 weeks and spent 144 days in the NICU.

Families came from all around the country to meet the staff who supported them during their toughest moments, when no one else could.

Dorsey’s partner was serving in Japan when she gave birth.

“He wasn’t able to come and my family’s not around here,” said Dorsey.

She said when her son Isaiah was born, her ring was able to fit around his wrist.

Isaiah’s one of the roughly 530 premature or sick babies admitted to the hospital’s NICU unit last year.

Every year, around ten kids don’t make it. Dorsey feared her son might be one of them.

“The postpartum depression…I had that. I was blaming myself, like why I had him so early,” said Dorsey.

She’s gotten through that fear.

“This is finally the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Dorsey.

She even received an award today for attending with the kid who was in the NICU for the most days.

The biggest reward for the parents though, is knowing their kids are now ok.

“He’s 100 percent healthy. He’s not on any medicine. He’s not on any machines,” said Dorsey.