University of Colorado Hospital has celebrated surviving NICU babies with an annual picnic for more than 30 years.
This year, two NICU babies met for the first time. They may be too young to understand, but their parents do.
Fin Joseph was born at 24 weeks. He's 8 months old now and doing well. His mother was inspired by a picture in the hall of the NICU. It was a picture of a boy named Brooks. He was in the NICU before little Fin and was also born at 24 weeks.
"We saw the picture of Fin at 24 weeks," said Theresa Joseph. "He left the hospital at 8 pounds and that's when I knew it could happen for Fin too," she said.
UCH put Theresa in contact with Brook's mother Chelsie so she could provide support and input for what Theresa was about to go through.
Just as hoped, Fin ended up leaving the NICU at 8 pounds just like Brooks.
Fin, Brooks and their parents met for the first time at the UCH annual picnic.
"We waited for this day for a long time," Theresa said.
There were tears of joy when both moms, now forever friends, hugged.
"Chelsie saved our lives," Theresa said.
Both families with so much in common are thankful for the doctors and nurses who took care of their babies.
"For four months they were our family," Brook's mother said. "They love him in ways that other people don't."
According to doctors at UCH babies in their NICU survive 85 to 90 percent of the time now. That's compared to a 50 percent chance just ten years ago.