The Wilson Family:

Honoring Sue

Lauren Wilson’s son Colin was born too soon and spent the first 49 days of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Virtua Voorhees. What started as a confusing and frightening journey for the Wilson family, ended up as one filled with love, comfort and support. Below, Lauren tells her story and honors a special NICU nurse who made a world of difference in her son’s life.

“Most parents can say with confidence that the birth of their first child was the happiest day of their life. For me, it is a day that gives me chills to think about, but surely goes down as the day I am most grateful for. Little did I know that after a perfectly normal work day with only a small hint of third trimester discomfort, I was in for the scariest moment and biggest surprise of my life; little did I know that my Monday morning “To Do” list would stay there until November and that my summer would be spent in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Virtua Voorhees.

After 30 weeks of a healthy pregnancy, baby Colin surprised us all by bursting into this world at 3lbs 11oz. He was born in the OB Triage at Virtua Voorhees, just 18 short minutes after we arrived at the hospital. He was quickly whisked away from us and taken to NICU, a place we would all call home for the next 49 days. I was left confused, shocked, and unsure of the condition and prognosis of my beautiful little boy who entered this world far too soon.

Colin and Sue on Colin's due date:
Sept. 27th, 2011

Though Colin's NICU journey had its fair share of ups and downs, no combination of words can express how grateful we are for his health and the wonderful care he received at Virtua. We are especially grateful for Sue McIntosh, RN, who served as Colin's primary caregiver for the majority of his time in NICU. She was patient and thorough in answering the many questions (and I mean MANY!!!) we asked, taught us some of our first parenting lessons, and was an enormous support in the breastfeeding process, which can be especially challenging for preemies.

Sue put our minds at ease when we were unable to visit NICU during Hurricane Irene and never seemed to mind my many phone calls to check in on our baby boy. Sue was not only an amazing caregiver to our tiny fighter, but she quickly welcomed us into the NICU family and became a supportive friend to our family, too.

On September 7, 2011, Colin's feeding tube was removed, hospital bands were snipped off, and we received the most WONDERFUL news: Colin could come home. While we were overjoyed with this news, there was a small part of me that was disappointed this huge milestone happened on a day when Sue was not working. We came back to visit NICU on September 27, Colin's due date, so we could give Sue the huge hug and thank you she so deserved!

We chose to donate to the Virtua Foundation in honor of Sue for the incredible care and love she shared with our son during a time in his life when he needed it the most. Spending 49 days in NICU can certainly be a frightening and uncomfortable environment, but our family experienced such an incredible amount of warmth, support and positive energy from every staff member we came in contact with. Though our donation was made in honor of Sue, we are so appreciative and thankful of ALL of the NICU doctors, nurses, administrative, and custodial staff who each had a positive impact on our NICU journey.”


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