NICU Baby Grows Up to Become NICU Nurse

The UConn Health Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a busy place.  This is where sick babies and those born early come to heal and grow.

"You meet a lot of nice families," said NICU nurse, Megan Richardson.

One of the babies Richardson has been caring for is little Keegan Crawford.

"She was 3 pounds, 12 ounces," said her mother, Brandy Crawford, of Keegan's birth weight.

Crawford gave birth to her daughter two months early.  Since then the baby has had other complications.

"She's got a blood clot in her heart and it ended up traveling up to her brain and giving her a mini stroke," said Crawford.

Now her baby is doing well and Crawford credits the constant care of nurses such as Richardson.

"She always has a smile on her face which really helps when you're in here for this amount of time,” said Crawford.

The NICU is not an easy place to be for parents.  A stay in the unit is riddled with worry and stress.

Maureen Richardson is another mom, who's been there.

"It was scary the first time I went down to the NICU and saw her.  She was so small and she was covered in tubes and wires," said Richardson.

Richardson’s baby was born ten weeks early.  That was more than 20 years ago.

"I was one pound, 14 ounces," said Nurse Richardson.

Megan Richardson was that baby, once a UConn NICU patient, now a UConn NICU nurse.

"It really gave me a big appreciation for the nurses that work here because there are still nurses there now that worked there back then," said Richardson.

Her mother couldn't be more proud of her daughter's career choice.

"It's very touching for me.  It's very moving for me for her to be in that situation," said Maureen Richardson.

Now other moms are relying on this nurse who has overcome the same obstacles their babies face.

"Very comforting to know that she knows what it's like to experience the whole experience that my daughter's going to have for the rest of her life," said Crawford.

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