At this reunion, thanks - and energetic kids - in abundance

Children, family and staff pose for a group photo in front of the historic Pine Building at Pennsylvania Hospital during the 2017 Intensive Care Nursery’s Reunion in Philadelphia, PA on October 7, 2017. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Doctors and nurses see them in precarious condition – when they are just born, usually early and with physical complications.

They are the babies of hospital intensive care nurseries, who often start their lives amid a tangle of tubing and in the ultra-protective confines of an incubator.

Most eventually go home to become thriving toddlers and, heavy sigh, teenagers – stages their caregivers during those fragile ICN days don’t typically get to see.

Kate Kell, left, and her two sisters, Sarah, center, and Emily, right, who are triplets, work on making masks during the 2017 ICN Reunion at Pennsylvania Hospital on Saturday. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

On Saturday, Pennsylvania Hospital hosted an ICN reunion to give medical staff a chance to catch up with former infant patients and their families. Nearly 500 were expected to attend the gathering in the hospital’s Elm Garden, where little fingers toiled over crafts and all ages gathered for a group photo.

Azzarya, left, and Semaj, right, 4, who are twins from Delanco, N.J., pose as superheroes. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer