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June 6, 2014 - NICU Reunion a Homecoming for Mobile Band Member
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One of our own "NICU graduates," Bryan Ayers has grown into a young musician whose band will play at our 25th annual NICU Reunion on Sunday, June 8, 2014.

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When the Hollis J. Wiseman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s & Women’s Hospital holds its 25th reunion on Sunday, June 8th, many “graduates," those who were treated there as infants, will be in attendance. One will even be on stage.

Bryan Ayers spent the first month of his life in the unit. But on this day, he will be performing outside the hospital in Geri Moulton Children’s Park as the drummer of local teen rock band Stereo Dogs.

In July of 2000, Bryan, along with his twin and fellow band member Andrew, were born at Mobile Infirmary to parents Linn and David Ayers. While in delivery, Bryan’s heartbeat could not be detected, so Neonatologist Dr. Keith Peevy from Children’s & Women’s was called in. Bryan’s first APGAR score, a method used to access the health of a newborn, was zero.

Fortunately, Dr. Peevy was able to resuscitate Bryan. Placed in an incubator and covered with tubes, he was transferred to the NICU and placed under the care of Dr. Fabien Eyal and Dr. Richard Whitehurst, Jr. He was constantly monitored and at one point, was put on a cold bed to help reduce the fluid in his head.

As time went by, Bryan’s condition improved.

“After one month of care in the NICU with the greatest staff on earth and countless prayers and support from our church family, Bryan went from nothing to a healthy, normal baby,” Linn Ayers recalled in an essay about the ordeal.

While the Ayers left the hospital with a beautiful son, because of Bryan’s trauma, they were a little uncertain about his future. They need not have worried as today Bryan is an active 13-year old who, in addition to his passion for music, enjoys fishing and camping with friends.

The Stereo Dogs, described as a “group of 13-14 year old kids on a rock and roll mission” kick off the NICU reunion, which is from 1 to 3 p.m. In addition to entertainment, the event features light refreshments and children’s games. Dress is casual.

Free parking will be available at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute next to the park. Families can also enjoy the park’s 50-plus life size bronze sculptures depicting children and families. There is no admission charge.

Nearly 1,000 babies are admitted annually to Children’s & Women’s NICU, with more than 20 percent of those infants brought from other hospitals by their “Care For Babies” NICU transport vehicle.

For more information about the NICU reunion, click here or call (251) 415-1000.

Image courtesy of Stereo Dogs.

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