After experiencing what it’s like as a mother with a NICU baby, Sarah Pulley opened up a hair salon inside a hospital to pamper parents of NICU babies.
Four years ago, Sarah, 34, from Carmel, Indiana, gave birth to her daughter Amelia who was born prematurely.
“When Amelia contracted a virus, she was transferred to Riley Children’s Health,” Sarah told TODAY Parents. “We’re very familiar with those walls.”
She spent four months within the walls of two hospital neonatal intensive care units.
About a year ago, Sarah began volunteering as a guest services volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House Family Room, a program under the global nonprofit Ronald McDonald House Charities.
These rooms are specifically designed to aid families of NICU babies with recharging, eating, and showering while staying in the hospital.
Riley Children’s Health wanted to open a hair salon in one of its two family rooms and the first person they offered to spearhead the project was none other than Sarah herself.
Sarah was excited to say the least.
The “Beauty Bar” officially opened on September 14th, ready to help families of the NICU every second Wednesday of each month.
“We shampoo, blow dry, and give scalp massages on the second Wednesday of each month,” Sarah said.
She donated a chair from her own salon, Three Seventeen Hair Design, got her distributor to provide $150 worth of free hair-care products, all on top of being a volunteer stylist.
“You completely lose all sense of yourself when you have a baby in the NICU,” Sarah said.
“My first mom completely relaxed in the chair; she just closed her eyes and breathed. My second was completely exhausted.”
Self care is an important part of the process, and Sarah continues to volunteer with hopes that these parents don’t lose themselves while going through a tough time.
She’s managed to connect with patients in the chair and out, some words of motivation from the mother of two now after welcoming her son Joey is that as NICU parents, “You’ve got this.”
“There is hope in my story because my daughter is thriving,” Sarah said. “We made it.”
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