One father at the NICU reunion for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System now carries seven years of reunion memories on his phone. Chris Torre proudly shares photos of his twin daughters at their first NICU reunion in 2013. The photo was taken when the girls were just months old and still in a stroller. Today Kiara and Kiana Torre joined more than three hundred people for a celebration hosted by Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The guests of honor all have one thing in common; they spent five days or more at the Hospital’s Norman P. Andresen, MD Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“This is a very special day for our family,” says Chris Torre, father of twin girls Kiara and Kiana. “We love taking a picture every year with Dr. Castro and showing the wonderful people who cared for our girls how well they are doing.”

This year’s NICU reunion’s theme was A Harvest of Memories and children were encouraged to come in their Halloween costumes. Families enjoyed a pancake breakfast with all the trimmings, bouncy houses, games, arts and crafts, a petting zoo and a dipper derby.

“We know that getting the right care at the right time for these fragile babies makes all the difference in their future development,” says Robert Castro, MD Director of the Level III NICU at SVMHS. “This reunion allows the families to reunite with us and also gives all of the nurses, respiratory care professionals and other staff a chance to see the infants they cared for grow up happy and healthy. It’s a very rewarding experience.”

The festivities took place at the Ryan Ranch Center for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging in Monterey. The SVMHS Norman P. Andresen Level III NICU is operated in partnership with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.