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Elizabeth “Lizzy” Orsini’s strong ties to the Brigham began at birth.
In 1995, Orsini and her twin brother were born prematurely at BWH, at just 30.5 weeks. Her brother did not survive, and Orsini struggled in the NICU for six weeks. Her parents remained with Orsini in the NICU, holding her skin-to-skin on their chests, a practice known as “Kangaroo care,” for 10 hours a day until she grew strong enough to go home.
Now, 18 years later, Orsini, who has been a dedicated volunteer in the NICU throughout high school, is preparing to begin a nursing program at Fitchburg State University in the fall and a new chapter of her life.
Orsini has been interested in medicine since she was a child. Her love for medicine was solidified when she visited BWH on a Girl Scouts trip in the eighth grade, an opportunity to revisit the place where she was born. Orsini decided to begin volunteering in the NICU soon after.
“It’s a world-renowned hospital, and I thought it would be so nice to give back to the place where I was born and cared for,” she said.
During her time volunteering in the NICU, Orsini assisted nurses by answering the phone and rocking babies to sleep. The first time she held a baby in the NICU, she realized that nursing was the professional path for her.
Although Orsini will be leaving BWH to attend school in the fall, she says she will carry the lessons she has learned during her time volunteering here.
“BWH has provided me with opportunities to grow and give back,” she said. “The hospital taught me leadership skills and how to step out of my comfort zone. I’m here today because of BWH’s NICU, and I am truly thankful for that.”