Welcoming a new addition to the family can pose a challenge in the time of coronavirus, as hospitals maintain visitor restrictions and other necessary precautions to protect patients and staff.
Yet one growing family came up with a joyful, responsible way to celebrate its newest member — Aiden Erik Eikrem, who was born Friday, April 17, at Princeton Medical Center (PMC).
Two days later, Aiden was in PMC’s Mother-Baby Unit with his mother and father, Kristina and Leif Eikrem of Princeton, when a nurse coaxed the family to their window.
Six floors below, more than 20 members of their extended family — spanning generations, all masked and doing their best to maintain appropriate physical distancing — held up cardboard signs spelling out AIDEN ERIK EIKREM.
When they flipped their signs, the message changed to THANK YOU NURSES & DOCTORS!
Lori Sletta, RN, a clinical informatics coordinator and credentialed educator at PMC who also happens to be the aunt and godmother of Kristina Eikrem, collaborated with Heather Pozzolano, RN, to set up the moment.
Pozzolano and her colleagues on Mother-Baby signaled the family members below by placing a large arrow, visible from ground level, in the window of the room next-door to the Eikrems. Then, the Mother-Baby staff just needed to get the first-time parents to check out the view from their own window.
In a follow-up email to Cheryl Raymond, RN, nurse manager of Mother-Baby, Sletta wrote, “Thank you for allowing us to make the new Eikrem family feel a bit special and giving us the opportunity to thank your wonderful staff!”