FORT WORTH -- Most Halloween transformations make things scarier. But what do you do about something that's already scary enough? Like, for example, the neonatal ICU?
Among the dozens of babies in the NICU at Texas Health Fort Worth, is baby Brayden and his mom, Sandra Putman. Brayden was born on August 18, over three months prior to his due date of November 23. He weighed just 2 pounds, 4.3 ounces.
"He wasn't breathing," recalled mom Sandra. "They gave him three shots of epinephrine to start his heart and CPR. He's been striving ever since."
Down the hall, baby Ava Delacruz gets a bath from her mom Krisa. Ava was born less than two weeks ago, at 32 weeks and 6 days.
"Stressful is kind of an understatement," Krisa said, "when you have a child in the NICU."
But fighting for their lives didn't stop these NICU babies - and the rest of the kiddos on their floor - from celebrating their first Halloween in adorable costumes.
"He's not left out, he's participating," said Putman. "It's cute. I love it. And I appreciate that they did this."
Yeah, the babies got dressed up as Green Lantern, Wonderwoman, Batman, Superman and more. But the real superheroes are the NICU night nurses who made it happen. They crocheted 65 costumes in their personal time.
"Everybody else is out making ghosts and goblins," said MaryAnn Ross, one of the nurses who worked on the project, "And we were making superheroes out of our superhero babies."
"It takes a special type of person, it really does," Putman said.
And Delacruz agreed: "The fact that the nurses love these kids so much and take such good care of them feels so good for a parent."
"Their whole world is turned upside down," Ross said of the parents of her tiny patients. "So everything we can do as nurses to kind of bring in the outside world for them is important. And to let them know that we love and care for their babies just as much as they do."
And thanks to them, as scary as the world may be, these NICUties are here to save the day.