More than 300 people turned out for the annual NICU Reunion at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS). Each family who attended the NICU Reunion has a child who spent five days or more at the SVMHS Level III Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.

“It was our first time and it felt like a big family because we all have a bond,” says Edith Meza mother of 9 ½ month old twins Jacob and Ellynie. “This was a really special event.”

The Meza Family was among hundreds who enjoyed a big breakfast of eggs, bacon, fruit, pancakes and all the trimmings. The theme of this year’s celebration was PJ’s & Pancakes. Children and parents were encouraged to wear pajamas to the event.

“It’s amazing to see these kids that I cared for all grown up, healthy and thriving,” says Robert Castro, MD Director of the Level III NICU at SVMHS. “This really shows the impact of advanced technology and quality care in challenging birth situations.”

The festivities were scheduled to take place outdoors but were moved indoors in anticipation of rain. The SVMHS NICU is operated in partnership with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center.