For many parents at St. Luke Hospital in Kansas City, MO, Christmas came early in 2016 with the arrival of their newborns. Even though their babies are the best gift these parents will ever hold, a group of dedicated volunteers worked to give them a priceless surprise.
As families with infants in the neonatal intensive care unit prepared to spend their first holiday season in the hospital, nurses and dedicated March of Dimes volunteers collaborated to make Christmas magical for all of those who were excited to celebrate their tiny presents. For the memorable day, staff dressed up 31 babies as precious gifts, complete with handmade hats, and also gave parents a special card that honored what a gift their little ones are this holiday season. Santa Claus then stopped by the NICU along with former NICU moms who are photographers to capture the heart-melting moment for parents to cherish.
"The holidays can be an especially emotional time for families in the NICU. Babies here are usually born premature or sick, and they may spend weeks or months growing healthy enough to go home," Michelle Manuel, a representative for St. Luke Hospital, said in a statement. "So providing these special families with an opportunity to celebrate the holidays in a memorable way allows them a sense of normalcy, and an opportunity to celebrate their babies' first milestones — even in the hospital — which is what every family wants to do!"