Salt Lake City, Utah — Thanks to nurses and volunteers who dressed up like St. Nick to continue this heartwarming tradition, newborns in the ICU at Intermountain Medical Center and Primary Children’s Hospital were still able to have their photos with Santa this year.
“It’s hard to have a baby in the NICU at any time, but around the holidays, the stress and sadness can hit new levels,” said Alice Casper, RN, Intermountain Medical Center newborn ICU nurse manager.
“For years in our NICU, we’ve had Santa come in and meet and take pictures with our tiny patients. Then when COVID hit, and even Santa wasn’t allowed to visit, we had to find something different to do.”
Nurses say that the “My First Christmas with Santa” photo is an important part of caring for fragile babies and their families during the holidays.
“It’s Santa magic that we get to bring a slice of joy to these families,” said Santa’s helper Jo Duff, assistant nurse manager in the Primary Children’s newborn ICU.
“I know that these parents are entrusting us with their beautiful babies every single day, and it breaks my heart that they have to be here. So, if we can make it just a little bit brighter and joyful for them, it’s the greatest honor and privilege in my life.”