Mount Sinai Medical Center welcomes back its tiniest patients

On Friday, December 2nd, Mount Sinai Medical Center welcomed back more than 100 patients for its 16th annual Preemie Party. This year’s “Superhero” themed celebration reunited babies who defied the odds in the Mount Sinai Abess Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and their parents, with the doctors and nurses who cared for them.

“This is probably one of the best days of the year for us,” said Tony Adams, M.D. chief of the NICU at Mount Sinai. “It is very humbling to see so many of these kids come back knowing that, without our help, many of them wouldn’t have made it 10 years ago.”

Among the returning patients, who ranged in age from 9 months to 18 years, was Michael Tintori and his parents, Veronica and Sergio Tintori. Michael was born in the Mount Sinai NICU on August 24, 2010 after just 24 weeks in the womb, weighing a mere pound and a half. “He was very little and he went through a lot but he’s a little fighter, “said mother, Veronica Tintori.

After six months of much needed care, Michael was able to go home on Valentine’s Day of 2011 – a Valentine’s Day present that his mother says was the best she will ever receive.

“We are fully committed to taking care of all the babies in our NICU as we know it can be a very stressful time for the parents,” said Ignacio Zabaleta, M.D., a neonatologist at Mount Sinai.

Today, Michael is a healthy and vibrant 11 month old, based on the date that he should have been born. Michael’s parents are so grateful for the care he received that they arranged for his baptism to take place at Mount Sinai and selected Dr. Zabaleta to be Michael’s godfather.

“We are from Italy and we had no family here when we went through this with Michael. But now, we consider Dr. Zabaleta and his team at Mount Sinai our family. They saved Michael’s life. It felt natural that he should be Michael’s godfather,” said Veronica Tintori.

Nursery levels are regulated by the state, which requires that Level III NICUs provide the most advanced care and adhere to rigorous state requirements. Mount Sinai’s Abess Level III NICU is proud to provide state-of-the-art care to critically ill newborns, coupled with high caliber maternity and neonatal services. Parents delivering at Mount Sinai can take comfort in knowing that the highest level of neonatal care is available onsite, should the need arise.

Mount Sinai NICU’s neonatologists, Jose Antonio Adams, M.D., and Ignacio Zabaleta, M.D., have worked together for more than two decades, taking care of babies from birth to discharge and providing a level of continuity rare in larger NICUs. The Mount Sinai NICU also counts on an experienced nursing team that is committed to highquality care and excellent outcomes.

The annual Mount Sinai Preemie Party is held every December, a symbolic time to reflect on the triumphs of these tiny “superheroes” and to remind everyone that, sometimes, the best

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