Parents with a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) don’t have time to worry about the small stuff. All of their energy and focus is on their child growing stronger every day and, ultimately, coming home. The memories of those hard days inspired one former NICU mother to help other families going through the same thing.

Heidi Opdyke’s son Nathaniel was born early at 32 weeks and weighed 4 lbs., 15 oz. For 40 days, Nathaniel grew stronger in Magee’s NICU with Heidi and her husband, Matthew, there every step of the way. With another son, they had to juggle caring for a newborn in the NICU and a toddler at home.


Nathaniel, in the NICU and at one-year old

In honor of Nathaniel’s first birthday, Heidi and her family organized care packages for parents staying overnight in Magee’s NICU. With generous donations from Fairmont Pittsburgh, Comfort Inn McKnight Road, Hampton Inn McKnight Road, Dr. Fred Claus, and colleagues Abby Simmons and Sue Layton, Heidi created 100 care packages with shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste and other essentials for NICU parents. She hopes her donation will help alleviate some of the stress the parents feel.


Heidi Opdyke and Suzy Guess, Director, Neonatal Patient Care Services, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

Thank you, Heidi, for your generous support!

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