Image: New York Presbyterian
In the heart of New York City, a dedicated NICU nurse at Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns is casting a spell of Halloween delight on the tiniest members of her care. This charming tradition showcases the incredible commitment of NICU nurse Lily Fox, who has taken it upon herself to craft adorable Halloween costumes for her tiny patients.
This year, Lily Fox has weaved her magic, conjuring up dozens of precious costumes for the babies she looks after, proclaiming it as a celebration filled with “no tricks, all treats.” She believes there’s nothing quite as heartwarming as seeing an infant adorned in a whimsical costume, particularly one resembling a delightful piece of food.
In the past year, her creative efforts resulted in 54 distinct animal-themed outfits and this year, she has continued the tradition with equally enchanting food-themed designs. Among her tiny, edible masterpieces are burritos, strawberries, and miniature boxes of popcorn costumes, each as charming as the next. And the best part? Families with babies in the NICU have the privilege of choosing one of these delightful costumes for their little ones.
As Lily Fox eloquently puts it, “We have a cart we set up, and we go around to the families, show them the different outfits, and ask, ‘What would you like to be?'” This personal touch allows these families to partake in the Halloween festivities, providing a sense of normalcy even in the challenging NICU environment.
Lily’s creations cater to the unique needs of each infant, as not all babies can comfortably wear a traditional onesie. Some of her costumes are ingeniously designed to rest gently on the infants, ensuring that every baby can partake in the Halloween joy, tube and wire-free.
Being in the NICU can be an isolating experience for parents, as they miss out on many expected firsts of parenthood. Lily Fox recognizes this and strives to offer these parents an opportunity to celebrate life and savor the holiday season, just like any other family with a newborn.
Lily passionately shares, “We can put aside all the tubes and wires and kind of look past that and just appreciate all the cuteness of the babies and say, ‘It’s Halloween.'” This simple act of kindness brings immeasurable joy to these families, even if only for a few precious moments.
In Lily Fox’s words, the ultimate goal is clear: “To create as much happiness as we can for just one day in the NICU.” Her dedication and creativity have transformed the NICU into a place where the spirit of Halloween shines brightly, even amidst challenging circumstances.