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Media Contact: Karina Rusk 831-759-1843

Families Celebrate at SVMHS NICU Reunion

SALINAS, CA, October 7, 2016- More than 400 people turned out for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System’s (SVMHS) annual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Reunion. Each family who attended the reunion has a child who spent five days or more at the SVMHS Level III NICU.

“This is a very special event for our family,” says Marlene Magana, mother of Aaron Castro born at 27 weeks, weighing 2.9 lbs. Her son spent a total of 60 days in the NICU. “As parents we all share the same bond and it’s so nice to see all these children and to celebrate them.”

The Castro Family was among hundreds who enjoyed a pancake breakfast with all the trimmings. This year the annual event had a superheroes theme with a focus of ‘Celebrating Our Masked Miracles.’ Children were encouraged to wear super hero costumes and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals provided masks and capes to each NICU child.

“It’s great to be reunited with children that we, including medical, nursing, respiratory care and other ancillary services once took care of,” says Robert Castro, MD Director of the Level III NICU at SVMHS. Dr. Castro is not related to Baby Aaron Castro. “It’s nice to see them thriving and doing so well. This is a testament of the impact of advanced technology and the quality of care our babies receive at Salinas Valley Memorial when they have a challenging start to life.”

The festivities took place at the Ryan Ranch Center for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging in Monterey. There were games, bounce houses, a diaper derby, prizes and more. The SVMHS Level III NICU is operated in partnership with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center.