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Now high school seniors, former NICU babies celebrate graduation by giving back

The Central Texas students gave back to the NICU where their lives started as they get ready to graduate.

AUSTIN, Texas — Three high school seniors excited to graduate are giving back to the St. David's Medical Center NICU.

Jackson Kelley and twins Luke and Gabe DeYoung were born just two days apart and spent months in the SDMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

Kelly was born at 24 weeks gestation and the DeYoung twins were born at 27 weeks gestation. All three were considered micro preemies. 

About 18 years later, all three boys walked into the NICU Thursday and handed out messages of encouragement to current NICU families. 


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The boys say it's an opportunity to give back as they all prepare to graduate from high school on Friday.

Hand to Hold was founded by Jackson's mom, Kelli Kelley, who found the NICU to be a lonely, isolating place. Her experience inspired her to create Hand to Hold, which provides peer mentors for families in the NICU and family support specialists in partner hospitals. 


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