HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – Babies in the NICU at Penn State Children’s Hospital got to enjoy Halloween this season by wearing custom-made costumes from their nurses while the staff hosted a ‘not-so-spooky’ party for their families.
The outfits were construction-themed: a nod to the expansion of Penn State Children’s Hospital and the new NICU being built.
“Some of them are onesies that we decorated,” NICU nurse Monica Hardy said. “Some of them are cutouts because some of our infants have so many wires or tubes.”
“[I] cut little felt and made his little tool belt,” NICU nurse Alex Gustin added. “We put ‘NICU crew’ – because he’s part of our NICU crew – with a little heart.”
The staff dressed up, too.
“This is not how you planned your first Halloween or your first Christmas to go, so we like to really capitalize on that and give them that advantage while they’re here, to let them enjoy the holidays and enjoy the fun that it brings,” Hardy said.
Kelly Wardle, a mom of a NICU baby, says that it’s “exciting.”
“They feed us. They dress our little boys and girls up in outfits,” she added.
Babies’ family members see the construction outside each day as they walk into the hospital, so the theme was a no-brainer.
“They’re working long hours, extra shifts to help us bring private rooms for these little ones and give them high-quality care,” Gustin said.
“We are all excited to have new private rooms, state of the art facility. Everything’s brand new,” Hardy said.
In addition to the NICU, the expansion will include a pediatric intensive care unit, and more patient rooms and care stations.
“You only get one first Halloween, so make it special and go all out because every little kid deserves the best,” Wardle said.
The new NICU is scheduled to open in the fall of next year.