A Milestone Birthday – In More Ways Than One

Premier Nursing News     March 2019

Joshua Day didn’t just celebrate his golden birthday on January 11, 2019. His dad, Scott, called it his platinum birthday. Because not only did Joshua turn 11 on January 11, he was born weighing 1 pound, 11 ounces. Proudly wearing a shirt that read “I was born on 1-11, I weighed 1-11, and today I’m 11,” Joshua spent part of his birthday reconnecting with the Miami Valley Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff who took care of him for the first 105 days of his life.

“For 11 years, we have communicated to anyone in the community that has asked about his start—really how special this place is,” said Scott Day. “We wanted to really give him the opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to the group that invested a lot in him. We wanted it to be meaningful to him. We wanted to express our appreciation to an exceedingly talented staff.”

Several NICU nurses who cared for Joshua 11 years ago were able to meet with him on his birthday. Elisabeth Zimmerman still has a small picture of him and wears a T-shirt made by NICU staff that features his tiny hand prints. With a smile, she recalled dressing him in a baby-sized button-up dress shirt to surprise his parents with a photo shoot in celebration of his reaching 4 pounds. “I love seeing the babies and their families grow together as a family,” she said. “You start from something that can be an incredibly scary, terrifying time with a tiny, sick baby, and they grow and get well and really grow as a family to the point where they can take them home, and it’s an honor to be a part of that.”

Joshua’s mom, Amy, said the experience of having a baby in the NICU was trying, but one for which the family ultimately was grateful. “Everyone was going above and beyond to make sure that he got the very best care. They really paid close attention to any requests, lots of questions, lots of middle-of-the-night calls, lots of prayers with us, lots of just listening and advising and reassuring,” she said. “Spiritually, it was a time that we certainly learned that the Lord is in control, but He certainly sends a lot of great helpers. We’re very, very thankful.”

All smiles, Joshua expressed his thanks and said that the special reunion was the best part of his birthday. “It means very much to me,” he said. “I can’t even imagine how little I was.”


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