Collins Marie Carr Memorial Garden gives NICU families a place to spend time with babies

Mobile County
VIDEO: Collins Marie Carr Memorial Garden gives NICU families a place to spend time with babies

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Hospital stays are tough, especially for parents who have children in the neonatal intensive care unit. On Tuesday USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital showed off its new rooftop garden outside of the NICU.

It’s called the Collins Marie Carr Memorial Garden. It’s named in memory of Lauren and Austin Carr’s daughter. Their daughter Collins Marie was at USA Children’s and Women’s hospital before being transferred to Birmingham. 

The hospital in Birmingham had a garden outside the NICU where they could spend time with Collins. When doctors told them they had to take Collins off life support, they were able to do it outside in the garden.

“We weren’t surrounded by monitors and beeping and strangers,” said Lauren Carr. “We got to come out to a peaceful place and just let our baby go as peacefully as possible and it was amazing.”

The Carrs wanted to give families in Mobile that opportunity.  They began raising money and more than two years later, the Collins Marie Memorial Garden is now a place families with children in the NICU can spend time with their babies. 

Rachel Hadley’s twins have been in the NICU for five months and she’s been using the garden.

“It’s literally been a breath of fresh air,” said Hadley. “To be able to come out here and breathe and have them come out here and kind of get prepared for the real world, it’s been amazing. It’s been a blessing.”

The Carrs are happy to see their daughter’s name live on through the Collins Marie Memorial Garden.

“To know that these parents are going to get a chance to spend some unhospital like time with their children is just amazing,” said Lauren Carr.

The $75,000 construction cost was met and exceeded largely in part to a generous donation from Louis and Melinda Mapp. 

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