KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new program at Truman Medical Center invites folks 55 and up to volunteer with the hospital's newest arrivals.
TMC Rockers will give volunteers the opportunity to hold and soothe babies in the NICU when their parents can’t.
Terri Dady was the first to volunteer, rocking a newborn named Aubriie.
“I think that natural pat just comes back to you,” Dady said, smiling and rubbing the baby’s back.
Truman Medical Center is a 19-bed unit, caring for some of the sickest and smallest babies in the metro.
The program is looking for 50 volunteers to come every week.
“These babies need so much love and care that we just wanted to bring people in to really benefit the baby and mom,” Chief Community Relations Officer Niki Donowa said.
When some babies have to stay in the NICU for a long time, the physical contact and warmth means everything.
And there’s nothing like being held by your grandma.
“It feels rewarding, fulfilling, and you can make one of these little guys feel good,” Dady said. “Plus, you don’t have to change their diapers! You just get to hold them, and they’re sweet and they smell good.”
Holding baby Aubriie brings back memories for Dady.
“This is my favorite stage,” Dady said.
Dady’s grandkids are older now, so volunteering is a way to get her baby fix and give back.
“Holding a baby that’s not yours just brings back all that love you felt before. Anybody that hasn’t held a baby or a grandchild of their own for a while, this would be perfect for them,” Dady said.
Any volunteer needs to be committed, go through training, follow hospital protocol, and get necessary shots, like flu and TB.