This Halloween, babies at the Nenonatal Intensive Care Unit at at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, North Carolina, and their families, were treated to something special.
Katie Windsor, a nurse there, made costumes and took pictures of the babies. She decided on superhero costumes, which she felt were fitting. She told TODAY, “I figured what better theme than superheroes for those little preemies that fight so hard. They really are superheroes, so it was perfect.”
Costumes included Batman, Superman, the Green Lantern, and others. For those babies who were not hooked up to oxygen or IVs, Winsdor placed them on backgrounds and photographed them.
This gesture gave these babies’ families something to celebrate as well. The pictures “really gave them something to smile about when they are in a sad time in their life, when they’re having to go home without their babies. I think it brought them a little bit of joy,” Windsor said.
Parents also received Halloween cards and extra copies of the pictures.
Windsor is also happy that the Halloween celebration is making people more aware of the NICU. “It makes me feel good that people get to see these babies,” she said. “I don’t think people think about the NICU unless they’ve had a baby that’s had to go there. I’m glad it’s bringing recognition to our NICU and what we do.”
The idea has also been implemented in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Nurses there made costumes on their down time. Maryann Ross, RN, spoke about the “idea to do something special for all these babies.” She also noted that “as others are out in the world doing Halloween with ghosts and goblins, we are in here making our superheroes into superheroes.”
As Windsor and Ross have said, many view babies in the NICU as “superheroes” for fighting so hard after being born prematurely, and/or with difficulties. They are fighting every day for their lives.
These babies are a living witness that no matter the age or condition, all human beings are precious and worthy of celebration.