In the NICU at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), a nurse has been working hard to do something special for her little patients and their families.
Nurse Tara Fankhauser has begun a tradition that has been standing for the past four years at CHOA in which the NICU babies get dressed up for Halloween. What's special about this tradition as compared to other hospitals, however, is that Fankhauser makes each costume by hand.
Using each individual baby's personality as inspiration, Fankhauser has created unique crocheted costumes for the hospital's tiniest patients. As a way of celebrating their first Halloween, despite being in the neonatal intensive care unit, Fankhauser hopes that the costumes will make the holiday fun for families.
In a public statement, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says that Tara Fankhauser works tirelessly on these crocheted costumes beginning in the spring of every year. The CHOA nurse and mother of three creates all-new costumes every year for the babies.
"What started out as a hobby has quickly become a hospital tradition that brings joy to our families and staff," CHOA said in the statement.
Back in 2017, Fankhauser was able to create 30 individually personalized costumes for the NICU babies which included a pumpkin, Pinocchio, a baseball, and an adorable little gumball machine.
A few days ago, CHOA shared a few of this year's costumes on Facebook and the public can't get enough. Some of the images they shared included costumes such as Rocky Balboa, a not-so-spooky Casper, a little plankton, Dumbo, a lion, and a Tim Burton inspired costume. With over 4.7K reactions, 349 comments, and 1.4K shares, Fankhauser's creations are quickly going viral.
What is so great about Fankhauser's costumes, other than the obvious cuteness factor, is that she is giving families a change of pace and a new perspective on their baby's stay in the NICU. She is also showcasing some of the toughest patients in the hospital and showing that even when things are tough, there is still time to smile.
We cannot wait to see more of CHOA NICU babies in their Halloween get-up this year and we hope that it inspires other hospitals to follow in their footsteps!