ABILENE, Texas -

Many lives have been saved inside Abilene Regional Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Saturday, they hosted a reunion to celebrate the achievements and successes of the NICU graduates.

The graduates and their families were invited to renew bonds with the medical doctors who helped make it all possible.

Babies are admitted into the NICU area just minutes after birth for a variety of reasons including premature birth, respiratory problems or circulatory problems. The hospital cares for more than 200 newborns in the NICU every year.

For Gloria Sembrano, R.N., B.S.N. Supervisor of Women and Children Services, the NICU reunion is part of what makes her job worthwhile.

"The NICU is my passion, and there is not a more rewarding job than caring for those tiny, vulnerable lives," she said. "Their lives are in our hands, and it's truly a blessing when a preterm baby, born 3 months early, gets to graduate and go home. Of course it's bittersweet because you become so attached and want to take them home with you. After all, we feel like their mothers when they are in the unit," said Sembrano.