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'Graduates' of neonatal intensive care unit reunite with those who saved their lives
Date: 10/03/2012
Contact: Amy Albin
WHAT:
Approximately 400 former patients and their families will attend a reunion of "graduates" who were cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA in Westwood or UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. This is the 27th NICU reunion organized by UCLA nurses. 
 
The party will include activities for kids and will give nurses the chance to meet with former patients who are now thriving. These former patients today range in age from 3 months to 35 years old. 
 
The NICU takes care of medically fragile newborns, including micro-preemies born as early as 24 weeks' gestation and weighing only a pound or two, as well as full-term babies who are born with life-threatening illnesses.
 
WHEN:
Noon–3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7
 
WHERE:
Picnic area at UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center (map)
111 De Neve Drive, Los Angeles 90095
 
INTERVIEW | PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES:
The following people will be among those available at the reunion:
 
Quezada family (Palmdale)
Parents Manuel and Beatriz and their son 3-year-old son Daniel, who was born at 25 weeks (Manuel speaks English and Spanish)
 
Weaker family (Sun Valley)
Parents Jenna and Jeff and their 2-year-old son Luke, who was born at 32 weeks
 
Kinsey family (Simi Valley)
Parents Stacey and Scott; their 2-year-old daughter, who was born at 24 weeks; and their 9-week-old twins, who were born at 34 weeks
 
Sara Van der Linden (Santa Paula)
Sara, 34, was in the NICU in 1977 and has attended more than 20 NICU reunions
 
Shohreh Samimi
NICU unit director at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA
 
Joyce Keeler
NICU nurse at UCLA for more than 35 years
 
 
BACKGROUND:
UCLA NICUs offer the most advanced interventions available for critically ill babies, with medical and surgical specialists available 24 hours a day to address every possible physiological need. UCLA experts are also involved in extensive neonatal research, and NICU staff provide a variety of developmental interventions for infants and families Learn more about the NICU at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and the NICU at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.
 
MEDIA PARKING:
Please R.S.V.P. to media contact. Parking will be available in Lot 11 on De Neve Drive. Parking is $11, or show attendant media credentials for complimentary parking. Media trucks with placards in the window can park at the temporary parking spots outside Lot 11.
 
MEDIA CONTACT:  
Amy Albin | UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations | 310-794-8672