Santa's Little Ones

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 2:03 PM PDT
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Santa's Little Ones

Cynthia Faram

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They’re too little to come to him, so Santa stopped by to see the preemies at Sharp Mary Birch in San Diego.

In the midst of all the monitors, beeping and cords, parents and loved ones got a little relief from the stress and anxiety that can come with premature births.

A long-time employee dressed as Santa Claus made the rounds Tuesday, posing for pictures with around 35 babies.

Little Janine Genesis Guzman weighs about six and a half pounds but that didn’t stop mom, Lizzbeth, and dad,Octavian, from dressing her up in her holiday best and posing for a picture.

Janine’s parents, who were once told their daughter had a limited chance of survival, are happy to see she’s doing well.

Newborn Judah Kroenke was wearing his Christmas colors and, athough he slept through Santa’s picture, mom Linda was just happy he was having a pretty good day.

“Every day is different in the NICU,” said Linda Kroenke. “So we’re just really thankful for our good days.”

Judah arrived a little early but has been making progress. “Every day he breathes better, we breathe better,” Linda Kroenke said.

Sharp Mary Birch has one of the largest NCIU units west of the Mississippi and is known for caring for the smallest of babies - some weighing as little as 13 ounces at birth.

Each year, more than a thousand babies are treated at Sharp Mary Birch's NICU and a hundred babies are transferred to the unit from other area hospitals to receive specialized care.

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