Washington Regional Hosts NICU Reunion For Patients and Parents

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Washington Regional's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is celebrating their tiniest survivors with a special graduation and reunion on Saturday (Oct. 7).  The Pat Walker Center for Seniors was full of patients and parents catching up with their favorite doctors, nurses, and physicians.

For parents Stephanie and Derek Strause the reunion was reminder of their 38 day stay in the facility with their premature set of twin girls, Margo and Elliott.

"In the NICU, it's not day-by-day it's minute-by-minute," said mom Stephanie, as she cradled Margo who is now six months, but looks like a newborn.

The first time parents stayed in the Ronald McDonald House -- one floor above their newborns. This was a plus for first time dad Derek who had never even changed a diaper before.

"Just having that guidance from them really pushed us to become the parents we want to be," said Derek.

Watching patients and families graduate from the NICU with happy and healthy babies is what Dr. Christine Culpepper said makes her job worthwhile.

"It's good to see these moms again, and some of these babies I don't even recognize because they're so big now and they change so much," said Culpepper.