3/16/2001 - It was a homecoming of a different kind for Stacey Stumpf.
The day before her 30th birthday, Stumpf visited the neonatal intensive care unit, where she had been a patient some 30 years ago.
She was transferred to Vanderbilt after being born at Nashville Memorial - premature, hypothermic and experiencing difficulty breathing.
Stumpf was soon released from Vanderbilt and has lived a healthy life, having three children of her own.
During her reunion visit, she was surprised by a visit by Dr. Mildred Stahlman, founder of the NICU and best known as the pioneer of modern neonatal intensive care.
I just wanted to come back and say thank you, Stumpf said with tears in her eyes. I never expected to see Dr. Stahlman. What a great honor.
We just think she was a miracle, said her mother, Brenda Gilley. In a moment we could have lost her. We are so thankful to Vanderbilt and for the great work Dr. Stahlman has done.
The NICU, founded in 1962, has become a Level III regional referral center, admitting 1,000 patients per year. A special newborn ambulance service, started in 1974, provides a NICU on wheels. It responds to rural areas and can begin immediate treatment on critically ill babies.©2013 Vanderbilt University Medical Center