Hospital volunteer handmade twelve tiny ensembles for NICU babies
SANTA MARIA, CA – October 28, 2021 – Marian Regional Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) infants are celebrating Halloween this year by wearing tiny costumes hand-crocheted by a longtime hospital volunteer. In total, ten pumpkin caps and two batman costumes were made.
Candy Martin, a volunteer for 23 years in Marian’s labor and delivery, mother and baby, and NICU departments, crocheted each outfit singlehandedly to provide some cheer for the infants and families in the unit, which customarily recognizes the holiday with an NICU reunion celebration each fall on the hospital campus.
“Marian has been such a special part of my life. I love to crochet and I love the staff, so I wanted to do something that would encourage them and provide a spark of happiness,” says Martin. “I know these past couple of years have been especially trying for them, so if this brings them some happiness, it’s a success.”
Annually, the NICU at Marian celebrates its graduates with a Halloween themed NICU celebration, typically hosting more than 300 tiny tots and their loved ones.
At the event, the infants and their families reunite with the physicians, nurses, and volunteers who cared for them during their earliest and most fragile days. This year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
“This very kind gesture brought joy to the parents of NICU infants, as well as the staff,” says NICU Director, Chris Jacowchik. “Without our annual celebration, where staff and graduates come together, this allowed us the opportunity to spread some cheer among the unit, which was beneficial to everyone after such a difficult year.”
Marian’s 21-bed, Community (Level III) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the most sophisticated and technologically-advanced Unit in the region, providing exceptional care to the tiniest of patients.
About Marian Regional Medical Center
Marian Regional Medical Center is a state-of-the-art, 191-bed medical center located in Santa Maria, CA. The modern facility is home to a broad array of services including a level III trauma center, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, a nationally recognized cardiac care center, and boasts the Central Coast’s only Comprehensive Community Cancer Program as recognized by the Commission on Cancer. Marian has been recognized for quality and patient safety and named one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals by Healthgrades®.
Marian Regional Medical Center together with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, CA make up Dignity Health Central Coast, a network of hospitals, physicians, and outpatient services including physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers, and a full service home health agency.
[PHOTOS: Top to Bottom - MRMC Volunteer Candy Martin and the NICU Costumes; Baby Emma; NICU newborn in Batman costume; Baby Scarlett]