Children's Health

published : 2023-10-28

NICU Nurse Brings Halloween Joy to Tiny Patients with Handmade Costumes

Devoted nurse creates normalcy and happiness for families in the hospital

An adorable photo of a tiny baby dressed as a tiger, taken with a Nikon D850 camera.

In the bustling New York NICU, a nurse's passion project is spreading joy and excitement. Lilly Fox, a dedicated NICU nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns, spends countless hours handcrafting over 50 Halloween costumes each year. Through her heartfelt efforts, she aims to bring a sense of normalcy and happiness to the families whose babies are in the hospital.

With Halloween just around the corner, Fox dedicates herself to creating an extraordinary experience for her tiny patients and their worried families. Each year, she picks a theme for the costumes and meticulously constructs them by hand. Last year, when the theme was animals, she made an astonishing 54 different costumes. Now, as Halloween approaches, the NICU is abuzz with anticipation as Fox plans to surpass last year's record.

Fox understands the isolating experience faced by parents in the NICU. They miss out on the expected first baby experiences that other parents cherish. With her costumes, Fox aims to bridge this gap and create a moment of sheer happiness for just one day. As she distributes the handmade costumes to the families, she watches their faces light up, knowing she has given them a chance to celebrate and create memories, even in the midst of tubes and wires.

Although Fox has a variety of costumes to offer, this year's theme is food. From a box of popcorn to a juicy strawberry and even a burrito, these delightful costumes will transform the NICU into a tiny food festival for Halloween 2023. Each baby will have the opportunity to dress up and feel the joy and excitement that accompanies the holiday.

A heartwarming image capturing a nurse distributing handmade costumes to the NICU families, taken with a Canon EOS R5 camera.

For Fox, seeing a baby dressed up as a piece of food is the epitome of cuteness. She believes in the power of these costumes to provide a much-needed escape from the medical environment and bring a smile to everyone's face. Even if it's just for a few minutes, Fox's ultimate goal is to create as much happiness as she can, turning the NICU into a place of joy and celebration.

Jennifer Tsitsopoulos, a mother who spent several months in the NICU with her daughter, Artemis, understands the significance of these costumes. She vividly recalls the difficult first weeks when leaving her newborn behind was heartbreaking. It was during this challenging time that Tsitsopoulos encountered Lilly Fox, the nurse who went above and beyond to create handmade costumes for the babies.

Tsitsopoulos describes the costumes as a moment of normalcy that allowed her family to celebrate Halloween together. Despite the tubes, alarms, and incubators, these costumes enabled them to cherish truly special memories. Fox's dedication touched them deeply and gave them a precious reprieve from the surrounding medical challenges.

The impact of Fox's work extends beyond the costumes themselves. She brings a semblance of normalcy and happiness to the NICU, giving parents the chance to experience the joys of parenthood despite the challenges they face. These costumes instill hope, create bonds, and leave a lasting impression on everyone involved.

A precious moment of a baby dressed as a strawberry, surrounded by smiling parents, taken with a Sony A7 III camera.

As Fox continues her tireless efforts in the NICU, her costumes have become a symbol of resilience, compassion, and love. With each stitch she sews, she weaves a tale of determination and dedication, transforming the hospital environment into a place where smiles, laughter, and happiness are abundant.

In a world where every moment counts, Lilly Fox is making a difference, one costume at a time.