Posted: Jan 14, 2013 8:26 AM by Bernie Riggs
MISSOULA - A Bozeman family stopped by Missoula's Community Medical Center on Sunday afternoon to donate books and visit a place they once considered a second home.
The Slaybaughs have been giving books every year to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, ever since 4-year-old Jodie was born with a chromosomal anomaly.
The family spent nearly three months in the NIC-U until they were allowed to go back to Bozeman two days before Christmas.
Friends and Family of the Slaybaughs donated the books for Jodie's birthday and the holidays.
Families in the unit usually can't touch their newborns, so reading to them is a good way for the family to bond.
"If you can pick up a book and read, then might become special to you and your baby hears your voice," Joanie Slaybaugh said.
"You know, it's hard when you can't do what everyone else is doing: pick up your baby, touch them, and hold them, and so reading became something special to us, and so that's why I wanted to give it to others," she added.
Community Medical Center opened up a brand new NIC-U last fall, which features more privacy and better environmental control for infants to develop.