LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Staff members took baby steps to take the first patients to new rooms, but the move was a huge step for Norton Suburban Hospital and Kosair Children's Hospital.
Thursday was a special day for Brian Tumey and his little girl Ava. "All the odds were stacked against her lets put it that way," he said.
Little Ava Tumey and 39 other little ones fighting for a start to a healthy life in the Norton Suburban Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit moved to larger and more specialized rooms.
Babies requiring critical care are now able to get a more personalized care and families will now get more time together.
"These families really need their private time," said Mary Jean Precious, a Nurse Manager at Norton's NICU. "Every baby needed their own situation instead of everybody kind of being in the same area."
The new rooms were designed by parents and staff.
"Our old area total was 5,100 square feet and now we are moving to 31,000 square feet," Precious said. "It's not a normal situation but they have some normal moments without the interference of other families, other patients and staff members everywhere."
Tumey and his family were already giving the unit praise as they wait to take their daughter home from the new NICU.
"This is absolutely great up here. You have kind of like your own suite," he said. "It just gives you a chance to have your own space. It's almost like being in a normal room where your baby can wheel in and out."
The move may give families more room but there are some things that will stay as close as before.
"It's a close knit family cause it's all about the relationship between the staff members and the family. That helps ease this horrible situation and make it a little bit better and easier for the family," Precious said .
There are 40 all private spaces now on the fourth floor of the east tower. The NICU was spread over four separate spaces on two different floors with no private spaces at all.
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