December 31, 2018

NICU Graduates Visit UAMS Annually to Bring Gifts for Preemies

By Katrina Dupins

Swaroop Salidi hopes his sons will continue the tradition of bringing gifts to the NICU when they grow up.

Swaroop Salidi hopes his sons will continue the tradition of bringing gifts to the NICU when they grow up.

Kovidh and Harshad Saladi spent 11 days in the NICU at UAMS in December 2014. Every year since, they have come back with their parents, Swaroop and Manju, during the Christmas season to give gifts to the NICU babies.

“It was a challenging time for us,” said Swaroop Saladi, the twins’ father. “But the nurses were encouraging and took great care of our children. We didn’t want to miss those feelings, so we come back each year to give back.”

Each year, Saladi checks in for a head count of the number of all babies in the NICU. The family leaves an extra special gift for the babies in room 551 because that’s where the Saladi twins were.

He hopes his preschoolers will continue the legacy once they’re old enough.

“We believe NICU babies are strong. And we want to encourage the families the way we were encouraged when our children were here.”