Comanche County Memorial Hospital takes care of 200 to 250 NICU babies every year, according to the Medical Director for the NICU. CCMH hosted their first NICU reunion since COVID, so parents, doctors, nurses, and the kiddos could finally see each other again.

Dr. Abhishek Makkar, the Medical Director for the NICU at CCMH, said it’s great to see the babies they took care of hitting milestones.

“It’s just amazing to see how well they’re doing,” Dr. Makkar said.

Kendra Vice and her daughter attended the reunion. She said her daughter was born at 32 weeks via C-section weighing just two pounds and six ounces.

“Being in the NICU makes you want to enjoy life a little more and the little moments,” Vice said.

Her little girl had to spend a few weeks in the city before being transferred to CCMH’s NICU.

“It made me feel great to be around my family, all of our family really, and to just be at home because it was hard being up in the city and everything because we had no place to go really, just the hotel room and the hospital,” Vice said. “But here, we had friends and family that really welcomed us back, and all the nurses were really great.”

Dr. Makkar said they try to make sure their nurse practitioners have experience at level 4 NICUs and that the nursing staff is experienced too.

“They are very good at making sure the baby does very well developmentally and is getting the feeling that they need to grow,” he said. “So, they work very closely with the families and make sure that they get ready when they get ready to go to take care of those babies comfortably.”

He said seeing how well the babies are doing at the reunion brings joy to everybody.

“We as neonatologists, we love to see when you know we had these babies who were like very tiny, in an incubator, and some of them were on the ventilator too, and when you see them come after a few years and doing everything healthy babies or kids of their age are doing,” Dr. Makkar said. “I think that’s very satisfying for us to see and gives us immense joy that’s why we do what we do in ICU settings.”

CCMH has the only level two NICU in southwest Oklahoma. Their NICU can take care of babies born more than 32 weeks gestation and weighing more than 3lbs 4oz.

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