September 7, 2013 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Barnabas Medical Center is gearing up for their 13th annual Miracle Walk.
NICU is inviting the public to join hundreds of parents and former NICU patients to walk on Saturday, Sep. 28 at 9:00 a.m., at Verona Park in Verona.
The purpose of the walk is to celebrate life and to raise money for the St. Barnabas NICU unit, which currently consists of 56 beds.
Among many families participating, the Zamfotis family will be walking in honor of their daughter Zoe, who was born at St. Barnabas at 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 6 ounces.
“Over the next 109 days, we watched our miracle baby grow in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Barnabas Medical Center,” said Mrs. Zamfotis. “Each moment was special for us – the first time we dressed her, to watching every ounce she gained and each strand of hair that grew on her head. We celebrated every moment.”
Since inception, more than $4 million has been raised to support and operate the highly specialized unit. Funds raised are used to acquire the most technologically advanced items and equipment available to ensure that NICU babies at St. Barnabas get the best care and experience possible.
“The NICU is a special place where miracles like our Zoe are given a chance they otherwise wouldn’t have,” said Mr. Zamfotis. He and his wife credit the NICU’s equipment, facilities and staff as the reason for Zoe’s presence in their lives. “Not only did the doctors and nurses care for our baby, but they comforted and consoled us when we needed it most,” Mrs. Zamfotis adds.
St. Barnabas NICU is rated as a Level III Regional Perinatal Center which is the highest designation attainable. It treats approximately 1,200 infants on a yearly basis for prematurity, low birth weight, acute illness, and congenital disorders.
In the last decade, the NICU has maintained one of the lowest rates of chronic lung disease and severe eye disease associated with extreme prematurity among more than 850 NICUs internationally.
Premature babies, including the most fragile, low birth weight infants, cared for at the Saint Barnabas NICU have a very high survival rate and a very low disability rate compared to national averages.
For more information about Miracle Walk, visit www.miraclewalk.com or call 973-322-4259.