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Family celebrates a second NICU graduation at Mercyhealth's Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside

Family celebrates a second NICU graduation at Mercyhealth's Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside

What's new at Mercyhealth | Thursday, June 23, 2022

A local family is celebrating their second Mercyhealth Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) graduation in three years. They were able to photograph the newest family member next to a beautiful sign they donated to the the NICU at Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside after their oldest son was released from the NICU.

Nicole and Ryan Bruce of Oregon, IL, welcomed Colton in 2019 when he was born at 29 weeks, six days gestation. He spent 49 days in the NICU before graduating. The couple was so appreciative of the care their son received and were elated when they were able to take him home. They knew future NICU families would feel the same way. That’s when Nicole had the idea to create a sign for families to use upon graduation from the NICU. The family never imagined they would ever need the sign themselves.

However, their second son, Henry had a different idea. He was born in April at 32 weeks and one day gestation. After 35 days in the NICU, Henry graduated and was able to have his picture taken by the very sign inspired by his family. They are now home enjoying their time as a family of four.

More than 340 families have proudly taken graduation pictures next to the sign since the Bruce family generously donated it in September of 2021.