I work in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology at the Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, part of the University of Rochester. Our division supports the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I am the Division Administrative Assistant, reporting to the Division Chief.
One of my least favorite jobs is answering the phone. But today I received a call that would bring a tear of joy to anyone. A very proud mom called to tell me back in 1994, her daughter spent 4 months in the NICU. She was born at 24 weeks of pregnancy. One of the doctors told her "not to expect too much."
"Well, I want you to know," she said to me, "my daughter has just been accepted at Rochester Institute of Technology with a full scholarship."
I struggled to keep my voice from cracking. "That is just wonderful!" I said to her.
"And she is the first one in our family to go to college," the mom boasted.
She told me when the doctor first told her not to expect too much that she became angry. "Maybe that was a good thing," she said. "It made me work that much harder with my daughter to help her overcome her disabilities."
I want to make it clear, that not all babies sent to the NICU suffer long term disabilities. Some spend a few days or maybe a week or more there and then live a totally normal healthy life. But walking through the NICU is a very humbling experience.
It is gratifying to work among doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who are so dedicated and talented at what they do.
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