MISSOULA – Community Medical Center in Missoula held a reunion for families that went through the NICU.
It was an opportunity for parents and children to reconnect with the medical professionals who helped them in the hospital.
The event happens every five years and over the weekend some 800 people attended.
Nate Bender was born at Marcus Daly Hospital at 26 weeks and was transferred to the CMC NICU unit for nine weeks.
These days, he competes in 100 mile ultra marathons, and last year became the first person to climb all the tallest mountain peaks in Montana-in four days.
He says none of that would be possible without the nurses that saved his life.
“It’s pretty amazing and hopefully some of the other parents can look at me and look at someone who’s an alum of the NICU unit — who’s 30 yrs old and doing alright — and maybe that can give them a little bit of hope,” Bender said.
He says he got to meet the doctor who cared for him in the NICU, and that she remembered who he was and his story.
The next NICU reunion will be held in 2024.