LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit doctors and nurses create a special bond with their patients that often lasts a lifetime. At Franciscan Health in Lafayette, one story has come full circle.
"Obviously there are some patients that you never forget," said Dr. Rosario Chua the Medical Director of the NICU at Franciscan Health in Lafayette.
Some would say that miracles happen every day in NICU units. Dr. Chua has bared witness to those miracles for over 30 years. Now one of them works with her every day.
"When I heard about Megan starting as a NICU in my unit I met with her and of course we hugged and I thought my goodness, my baby, from 23 years ago is working alongside me," said Dr. Chua.
Dr. Chua treated one of her nurses Megan Milakis when she was born prematurely. However, when Megan was in the NICU, she went into respiratory failure and needed a special ventilator that the hospital didn't have at the time.
"I was trained on the use of the ventilator the Jet Ventilator but we didn't have the machine," said Dr. Chua
Megan had to be transferred to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Once Megan was better, her grandfather made sure future preemie babies wouldn't have to make the same journey.
"As a philanthropist, he went ahead and jump-started the donation for the purchase of the ventilator and since then we have taken care of so many babies in respiratory failure," said Dr. Chua.
Neither Dr. Chua nor Megan herself thought their paths would cross again later in life. But it's a journey Megan shares with NICU parents to give them comfort and hope.
"When I say that Dr. Chua took care of me and I'm a NICU baby myself they are usually very surprised and happy to see a strong outcome, "said Megan Milakis a NICU nurse at Franciscan Health.
A small beginning, with an outcome that will last a lifetime.
"it completely came full circle she was here when I first started out and when I was starting my nursing career for her to be a part of it and now is really cool and special," said Milakis.
If you would like to help the NICU unit at Franciscan or the hospital in general you can donate to the Franciscan Foundation Health Foundation by clicking here.