NICU babies get Halloween costumes

         Babies in the St. Elizabeth’s neo-nato intensive care unit got into the Halloween spirit with a little help from some friends. 

         Baby Amelia wasn’t overly thrilled to be wearing the orange pumpkin hat at CHI Health St. Elizabeth, but hearing her cry is a relief to her parents. 

         Dressing their daughter wasn’t something the new parents had thought about because Amelia wasn’t supposed to arrive until November 9.

         After suffering medical complications Jessi had her at only 26 weeks and celebrating Halloween was the furthest thing from their minds.

         "You don’t know about the NICU until you’re in it and how much of a roller coaster it is," said Seth Huenink, Amelia’s father.

         The couple was able to celebrate Amelia’s first Halloween complete with a costume gifted by Nicuties, a program through Connected Forever.

         Connected Forever is a non-profit organization that helps families dealing with premature babies.

         This year the organization launched Nicuties with the goal of providing premies in Nebraska with Halloween costumes. 

         The program provided Amelia and other babies in St. E’s NICU with costumes, a gift the family is thankful for.

         "It was really special that someone else was thinking about it and helping us go through the motions and then after the fact you realize how special it really was and how excited we will be to share those pictures with her someday," said Jessi Huenink.

         Nicuties provided two hundred premature babies with costumes throughout the state, all of the costumes are handmade.

         You can learn more about Connected Forever or volunteer to help make costumes at their website.