Former NICU patient returns to NICU as nurse 30 years later

Nearly three decades after she was treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, a Twin Cities woman is back taking care of premature babies there as a NICU nurse.

Twenty-seven years ago, Sammy Warwick entered the world extremely early. Her due date was on Halloween, but she came in July instead, spending the first months of her life in the NICU at Children's Minnesota's Minneapolis hospital.

She went on to have a normal childhood in Woodbury, finally realizing her dream of working in the medical field in college.

"I just loved the science and the caring aspect that nursing brought those two worlds together for me," said Warwick. 

On Wednesday, she got to reunite with a group of longtime NICU nurses who took care of her as an infant patient but can now call her a co-worker.

Warwick is assigned to the NICU at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, a part of The Mother Baby Center, a partnership between Allina Health and Children’s Minnesota. It's there she shares her stories with families with the goal of providing a little hope at a very difficult time. 

"I love to be able to tell parents that and see their eyes kind of light up, and it just gives them some more light at the end of the tunnel," said Warwick. 

Children's staff believes this is the first time a NICU patient has returned to the hospital system as an employee. 

If you're qualified and would like to join the Children's NICU team, click here.