Santa makes stop in NICU to help spread Christmas cheer

KANSAS CITY, MO (KSHB) Santa made a few early deliveries Tuesday at Kansas City’s Research Medical Center, making stops at the center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

He visited babies, like Gunnar Jones, who’s just eight days old.

Gunnar was born seven weeks early.

“He was due January 27, and just showed up last Monday,” Gunnar’s mom, Lexi Jones said. “We still don’t know why, but he’s here and he’s doing really well.”

With Gunnar staying in the hospital for the holidays, Jones says plans have shifted a little.

“You have these expectations that oh, you have your baby and then you take him home. And you hang out with him, but you know, when you’re in here, you see your baby maybe four or five hours out of the day,” Jones said. “Then you’re going back and forth and you’re exhausted and you’re trying to take care of yourself physically while trying to make sure you’re here for him emotionally and physically, so it’s been hard but everybody here is so nice and you really feel like you’re taking care of your baby.”

Although his first Christmas will be in the hospital, staff members say they’re doing what they can to make sure families feel at home for the holidays.

“It is stressful, it’s not what they expected,” NICU Manager Jennifer Heiting said. “They pull together and do what needs to be done to help these parents and get these babies home.

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