Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Rush-Copley NICU Tour

About 2 weeks ago, I had the honor of sharing my son’s story at the hospital where he was born during a legislators’ tour of the Rush-Copley NICU, organized by the Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition.

This experience gave me the opportunity to share first-hand what my husband and I have been through with our son over the past 4 years, to give the legislators and media some idea the struggles that NICU families can face, to help them find ways.  Joel Brens, of Papas of Preemies, also presented his son’s story and showed the remarkable comparison of Jayden’s coming home outfit to a shirt he wears today (see image below).

From the Beacon News on 11/19/2012.
Scan courtesy of Rush-Copley Medical Center.

A more in-depth article plus photos were published by the Daily Herald, and appeared on their front page on November 27, 2012.  Kelly and Gena also attended, helping to represent Life after NICU, and calm any last-minute jitters I had.  🙂

Towards the end of my presentation, my husband brought Connor into the room for his big “reveal”.  Although he was a little shy in front of so many people, Connor was able to {softly} sing one of his preschool songs for the group.  Afterwards, we all walked down the familiar halls to the NICU, and showed Connor (from the hallway, through an open door) the room where he spent his first several months fighting to survive.

At the end of the tour, Kelly, Gena, and I were thrilled to pick up our Volunteer Applications.  Beginning in the new year, we will be allowed to return to the NICU as graduate parents to offer face-to-face support to families currently there.  This is a goal we’ve had since Day 1 of founding Life after NICU, and we’re so humbled and excited that it’s finally happening.  🙂

Aimee Sprik About Aimee Sprik

Aimee Sprik (IL) is mother to Connor, born unexpectedly early at 26 weeks, in December 2008, due to an infection. Connor, with his parents, survived a complicated 120-day NICU stay, which changed their lives forever. Since bringing her son finally home, she's felt passionately about volunteering her time and resources to supporting fellow NICU parents, both at the hospital where Connor was born, and by co-founding Life after NICU, an online parent support forum now moderated by Hand to Hold. You can follow Aimee on her personal blog, Sprik Space, or send her an email.


  1. Congratulations! There can be no doubt that the families there will be lucky to have you! – Your Fans at Hand to Hold


  1. […] AimeeThis is adapted from a presentation I gave at the hospital in November 2012, where my son, Connor, was born in December 2008 and graduated from his 120-day NICU stay. […]

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