Lurie Children’s Hospital: One Year Later

Exactly one year ago – then Children’s Memorial hospital embarked on an ambitious move – all 128 patients at the Lincoln Park location were transported in one day to the new Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. You won’t believe how things have changed since that emotional, challenging and life-saving day!

This is Maggie Monie moving forward with the speed and enthusiasm that only a one year old can. We first met her June 9, 2012, that historic day dozens of idling ambulances stood by at dawn to move the sickest babies like Maggie, who needed surgery on her blocked intestine just days after she was born.

Elise Monie, Maggie’s Mother: “They wanted to get her to Children’s Memorial as soon as possible. It was intense.”

But it was a gentler move the day she rolled to Lurie.

Elise Monie: “The situation she was in … this small room with five or six other babies to this intense room with a closet, a chair, I could sleep there if I wanted to. The difference was a big 180.”

After settling in with a lake view she never saw during her two-month stay, Maggie thrived – even after a second surgery. Learning to smile, sit up, eat, wave, and ultimately walk.

Brandon Monie, Maggie’s Father: “She basically didn’t eat for the first couple months of her life, but now she eats like a horse. It’s pretty miraculous.”

Today, neonatal intensive care unit physician James Collins and his team are long settled in their new space.

Dr. James Collins, Lurie Children’s NICU: “We feel very comfortable now. More important, families can feel a difference. The rooms that are single, families get a lot more privacy, time with babies alone. The quiet level helps with all the babies in general. Now we’re connected to Prentice so for families with moms who wouldn’t get to see us until three, four days out, it makes it nicer.”

The connection has been critical for David and Amy Fasano, who have been able to stay close to their newborn son, Bennet. Born May 30, he needed immediate surgery to repair his esophagus.

David Fasano, Bennet’s Father: “We couldn’t be happier he was this close. We’ve been able to be around him 24 hours a day.”

The bridge – an idea philanthropist Ann Lurie insisted upon when helping conceive the idea for the new facility – is just one design element that makes the new hospital stand tall.

During construction we toured state-of-the-art surgical suites where doctors have performed 54 transplants – that’s 23 percent more than at the old hospital – and more than 11,000 operations. The floors in the imaging unit were reinforced to hold the massive, high-tech CT’s with the capability to scan so rapidly children do not have to be put to sleep. Twenty-eight hundred little ones have benefitted.

More than 10,000 inpatients have been treated in the new hospital, and 667 outpatients pass through each day.

For a look back at the move, revisit the special WGN aired that weekend entitled Children’s Rising:

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