Children once fighting for their lives in NICU celebrate Halloween costume party

Montefiore Hospital’s Halloween tradition returns, as children who were once battling to survive in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit were invited back for a costume party.  
Michaela Lopez is one of dozens of kids who was once in the NICU at risk of dying. She was born 14 weeks early and spent the first 122 days of her life in the NICU, but now is a healthy 7-year-old kid wearing her Cinderella costume.  
Patient care advocate Beverly Young organized the reunion for the former patients, their doctors and parents to celebrate their children’s health.  
For mother Malika Cooper, whose daughter is currently in the NICU, it gives her hope and a sense of community during a trying time.  
“It does take off a lot of the daily stress of coming back and forth to the hospital, along with having extra children and being busy, it brings you back to normal,” said Cooper. “It feels good to be around people that are going through the same thing as me, or have a baby in the NICU. I don’t feel alone.”