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NICU Nurse Gets Touching Thank-You From the Kids She’s Saved

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NICU Nurse Gets Touching Thank-You From the Kids She’s Saved

Every year 10 to 15 percent of babies born in the U.S. end up in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a hospital, whether it’s because they’re born premature, have heart problems or birth defects, or any number of issues. And for the parents of every single one of those children, NICU nurses are their rock.

STORY: NICU Babies Star in Heartwarming Photo Series

Care in the NICU is “intensive,” one such nurse, Renee Hendrix, acknowledges in an emotional new video, “Tiny Miracles,” put out by Kleenex in recognition of Tuesday’s annual Neonatal Nurses Day. “Our babies are very critical,” she continues, “and we don’t know if they’re even going to make it through a shift. These parents, they don’t even get to take their babies home. [So] I feel like, if I treat the babies like I would want somebody to treat my baby when I’m not there, that’s the most important thing.”

But unbeknownst to her, gratitude is the most important thing in this video — which shows the nurse, who works at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga., happily blindsided by a video compilation of thank-you messages from 17 families of her former patients. “She loved my child as her child,” one mother declares in the footage that the nurse tearfully watches on an iPad. A father adds, “Renee saved my son’s life, multiple times,” while a third person proclaims, “You are our hero!”

STORY: When Baby Is Born 11 Weeks Early, Mom Turns to Superstition for His Survival

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Photo: Kleenex

Then the waterworks really start to flow. The video producers surprise Hendrix by opening a door to reveal each of those grateful families that she worked with, gathered together to thank her in person, along with the babies she saved. (Hendrix was unavailable to comment for Yahoo Parenting).

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Photo: Kleenex

“Are you kidding me?!” Hendrix shrieks. “All my favorite people in one room!” After hugging and snuggling with an adorable bunch of her former patients, the nurse takes a moment to reflect on what the gathering meant to her. “I loved taking care of these babies,” she says in the video. “I don’t do what I do for any kind of thank you but it’s a wonderful feeling to be appreciated.”

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Photo: Kleenex

This campaign of thanks is continuing on in social media as well, with other NICU family alums cheering on all of the nurses who made a difference in their lives. “I will never be able to repay the countless hours of constant love and devotion they showed my girls,” wrote one commenter on the Kleenex Facebook page about her NICU nurse. Another shares what the nurse for her child — who spent 129 days in the NICU — meant to them: “[You] handedly helped me overcome so much fear, sadness, and allowed me to feel that my baby was in the best hands each and everyday … [Our nurse] not only saved my baby on 2 separate occasions she also saved me.”

It’s all part of the job, though, according to Hendrix. She describes being a NICU nurse as incredibly “rewarding.” To work with babies “that you thought would never even make it out of here and just knowing that you had a part of [helping them survive]?” she marvels. “It is just a wonderful feeling.”

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