Best of Brooklyn: NICU baby becomes NICU nurse

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

A Brooklyn nurse is saving premature babies in the very same hospital where she was born, alongside the nurses who saved her own life.

Cerilene Small was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Brookdale Hospital as a premature baby and returned 23 years later as a registered nurse.

Small now works alongside the very caregivers that nursed her back to health in 1992, when she weighed only 3 pounds.

"We had to work a lot feeding her until we got her to feed well, and we had to monitor the head, make sure it wasn't swelling up," says NICU nurse Cheryl Coard.

The nurses were eventually able to send her home healthy, leaving a lifelong impression that inspired her to follow in their footsteps.

"I think I just did well with the love they gave me here because I never felt abandoned, I grew up and became successful and very loving," says Small.

Small says her success story as a baby who was in NICU to now being a NICU nurse can comfort her patient's parents.

"For a lot of parents who are feeling stressed out about their babies being there in the NICU, who can't see the finish line, they’re feeling hopeless," says Small. "I made it, I'm here, I came back, your baby's going to be fine and be great and healthy in life."

For an extended interview, click here.

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Aftermath of shooting that left 4 dead in Brooklyn

    Aftermath of shooting that left 4 dead in Brooklyn

    Gunfire broke out inside an illegal gambling club in Brooklyn early Saturday, police said, leaving four people dead, three wounded, and investigators trying to piece together what prompted the bloodshed.
    Gunfire broke out inside an illegal gambling club in Brooklyn early Saturday, police said, leaving four people dead, three wounded, and investigators trying to piece together what prompted the bloodshed.
  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • New York Comic Con 2019 - The Costumes

    New York Comic Con 2019 - The Costumes

    New York Comic Con 2019 - The CostumesNew York Comic Con 2019 - The Costumes
    New York Comic Con 2019 - The CostumesNew York Comic Con 2019 - The Costumes
    New York Comic Con is being held at the Javits Center Oct. 3-6, and News 12 is there! Click or tap on the photos to see some of the best costumes!
    New York Comic Con is being held at the Javits Center Oct. 3-6, and News 12 is there! Click or tap on the photos to see some of the best costumes!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."