By Bruna Doering
December 23, 2019 
Seeing your baby in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) on a normal day is hard in and of itself. Having a baby in the NICU during the holidays can make it even harder. Kendall Regional Medical Center NICU Nurse, Gabriela Valdez, aims to spread some holiday cheer by continuing her tradition of making and creating holiday costumes for her tiniest patients. 
Not only is Gabriela is a NICU Nurse, but she is also the mother of three NICU babies, which she claims is the reason she does what she does every single day. “It was very, very hard. It made me realize and see things differently as a NICU Nurse. The fear that you have when all of a sudden, the one thing you’ve been carrying inside of you all along, has to be handed over to somebody else and somebody else has to take care of it,” explains Valdez. “To have the trust in that person and to have to go home, empty handed and leave your baby in the NICU, I know how that feels.”
According to Valdez, it takes a village and her colleagues at Kendall Regional’s NICU Department go above and beyond to make sure the babies feel as comfortable and as happy as possible during her photoshoot. “We all work together to make this possible. These pictures make them look as if they aren’t even in a NICU. They get this one picture of their baby, apart from all the machines and all the pumps and all the oxygen tubing. They get a beautiful picture of their baby during the holidays and it makes them smile.” This is why they do what they do every single day.
About Kendall Regional Medical Center
Kendall Regional Medical Center, an award-winning 417-bed hospital, is recognized for providing a wide array of services to the residents of South Florida, as well as visitors from around the world. We offer 24-hour comprehensive medical, surgical and diagnostic services, including trauma and burn care, pediatrics and maternity services, an orthopedic and spine institute, along with patient and community services. For over 45 years, we have been committed to expanding and improving every facet of the organization, devoting significant time and resources to enhancing the facility, staff and medical care. Kendall Regional Medical Center has grown into a major tertiary-care teaching facility, with an outstanding staff that includes more than 1000 physicians and specialists and over 1,800 employees, all of whom place importance in making our patients feel welcome and comfortable. 
For more information visit or call 305.223.3000.
Kendall Regional Medical Center is a facility of HCA East Florida. HCA East Florida is the largest healthcare system in Eastern Florida and an affiliate of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). HCA East Florida has 14 hospitals, multiple ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, and free standing emergency care facilities, as well as a supply chain center and an integrated regional lab. Together, HCA East Florida employs more than 18,000 employees and has nearly 7,000 physicians on staff. For more information, visit
* Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2016 through 2018 and represent three-year estimates for Medicare patients only.
Aventura Hospital and Medical Center + Highlands Regional Medical Center + JFK Medical Center +
JFK Medical Center North Campus + Kendall Regional Medical Center + Lawnwood Regional Medical Center + Mercy Hospital + Northwest Medical Center + Palms West Hospital + Plantation General Hospital + Raulerson Hospital + St. Lucie Medical Center + University Hospital & Medical Center + Westside Regional Medical Center