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Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014

News

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:Teen's service project becomes family tradition

Friday, November 20th, 2009

At West Penn Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, premature babies lie naked in incubators with wires protruding from tiny noses and snaking beneath fragile limbs.

When Toni Acri volunteers there, she is reminded of the two girls she calls her "miracle cousins" and she is glad to continue a high school senior project that has become a family tradition.

Maggie and Emma Rooney, of Shaler, were born prematurely at 29 weeks in October 2004. Each weighed little more than 2 1/2 pounds. They spent 98 days in West Penn's neonatal intensive care unit and emerged into the arms of an extended family whose love has buoyed them into a healthy childhood.

Toni's older sister, Becca Acri, now 20 and a sophomore at Point Park University, began volunteering in the unit when she was a teen to thank the hospital for caring for her cousins. It bothered her that most of the babies in incubators didn't wear clothes.

"The babies are in a heated unit, so they don't get cold," West Penn clinical nurse Carolyn Bolton explained, but the infants are not clothed because they must be connected to intravenous lines or some are too sick and must be closely observed.

 

To read the rest of the story, please visit this link to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

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