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Kids reunite with doctors at Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Updated: Sunday, September 8 2013, 09:54 PM CDT
Reported by Jesse Knutson (

DERRY TOWNSHIP -- Today, hundreds of children who have been cared for at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, were reunited with doctors and nurses that cared for them in their first days, weeks, and months of life. "We want a fun event that they can remember," says Liz Matteson, one of the organizers of the event that has been going on for 30 years, and she says it's done completely with volunteers.

"We have Zoo America, they bring animals, some of the Hershey characters come around so they can take pictures. We have a bounce house, we have carriage rides," says Matteson.

But one of the main highlights for the kids is a dunk tank where they get to dunk their doctor's.

Heather Lesoine became a mother three years ago, and her first born son, jack, spent 4 months in N.I.C.U after Heather suffered from Preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman. If left untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, the life-threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy."We were scared, we didn't know what was going to happen, and it was our first baby, so that made it even scarier because we didn't know what to expect," Heather recalls.

Heather says the crew at Penn State Hershey Medical Center helped her family through the rough time. "As much as it was a terrible time, they made it as nice as it could be in a scary situation. They made it easier for us, they taught us how to take care of them, they taught us all of the issues that he might have, and it was just a really good experience in that sense," says Heather.

This event was created so families and patients can reconnect with the clinical staff who helped them through the tough times, and to just have fun. The next reunion is scheduled to happen 3 years from now, and has no end in sight.Kids reunite with doctors at Penn State Hershey Medical Center

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