LIFE

Baby Girl Born 6 Weeks Early Returns To Hospital 12 Years Later To Play Music For NICU Babies

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

When babies are born premature, they run the risk of having a number of different health issues. These babies are often kept in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for weeks or even months so they can build up enough strength to go home.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, premature babies may have hearing and vision problems, breathing problems, and feeding difficulties. In addition, they run the risk of having developmental delays or cerebral palsy.

It’s a stressful time for parents and babies alike. While parents worry about the health of their little ones, babies struggle to survive. They often spend time alone in incubators, surrounded by monitors and tubes.

To keep these babies calm, some NICU doctors play classical music, which is known to help relaxation.

Isabella Ciriello, now 12 years old, was once a NICU baby. She was born six weeks early and spent the first 12 weeks of her life in the NICU at New York Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital.

“I actually was a patient in the NICU,” Isabella explained. “I’ve seen some pictures of myself when I was a preemie and it’s hard to believe that I was ever that small and fragile.”

Isabella’s doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Perlman, told her parents to play classical music, since he’d seen it soothe preemie babies before.

Now Isabella is a healthy seventh grader, and she’s giving back to the same NICU where she spent so much time. The once-premature baby volunteers her time by playing classical guitar for new preemies.

What a meaningful way to give back to the hospital!

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