Yes, the lights are too bright, the noise level is too high, the stress sometimes almost unbearable. Yes, the neonatal intensive-care unit is an incredibly unnatural environment--one filled with more love and respect for life's most fragile gifts, its premature and sick newborns, than any other I have experienced. For 24 hours each day of the year we are with the babies, hoping--sometimes futilely--that each will "graduate" to be as beautiful and healthy as Matthew Chen.
Laura Gauntt, R.N.
San Diego Children's Hospital