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NICU nurses reunite with young patients they cared for at birth

Mother Sara Castellan, left, and NICU nurse Judy Matton, right, reunited on Jun. 15, 2024, about six months after Castellan’s son, Jackson, was discharged from Windsor Regional Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. (Sanjay Maru/CTV News Windsor) Mother Sara Castellan, left, and NICU nurse Judy Matton, right, reunited on Jun. 15, 2024, about six months after Castellan’s son, Jackson, was discharged from Windsor Regional Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. (Sanjay Maru/CTV News Windsor)
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Sara Castellan’s son spent three and a half weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after being born six weeks early. Judy Matton was one of their nurses.

“I’ve been on both sides,” said Matton, a NICU nurse of 21 years. “My daughter was in the NICU for a week. It’s terrifying, it’s the fear of the unknown. You’re trusting people with your child and you don’t know who they are.”

Matton and Catellan were able to reunite Saturday at the annual NICU Graduate Picnic near the Vollmer Complex in LaSalle, Ont.

Now six months old, Jackson Castellan is thriving.

“It’s unbelievable, he’s growing every day and is happy. It’s been perfect,” said Castellan. “I was worried when he was born, obviously, but the whole experience was great. I learned so much, and you grow close to the nurses and all the moms.”

“The parents get a lot of education, like when they’re taking their babies home, they’re probably more rock solid than they would have been going 24 hours after delivering a baby,” remarked Matton.

Matton says, as a nurse, it’s a huge accomplishment to take care of these newborns when they’re so fragile, and see them grow up to be strong and healthy.

“And support the parents in the scariest time of their life,” she said.

—With files from CTV Windsor's Sanjay Maru

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