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Freeman NICU babies show their Kansas City Chiefs spirit ahead of Sunday Super Bowl

Feb. 9—On the last Red Friday of the football season, babies at the Freeman Health System's neonatal intensive care unit dressed to show off their Kansas City Chiefs spirit.

"Hopefully they'll grow up to be really big fans and one day look back at their baby pictures and love it as much as we do," said Kalseji Reeds, director of maternal child services at Freeman Health System.

On Friday, the NICU had a Super Bowl bash, and with permission from the parents, the babies were dressed by staff in Chiefs' outfits.

Some were Taylor Swift fans, or "Swifties." Others were dressed like Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and Taylor Swift herself. Nine babies in all wore Chiefs red and gold.

Reeds said it's a fun and unique way to support families in the NICU, who are often facing stress and sleepless nights.

"We just want to let our parents have a good time, get their minds off the illness of their baby, so they can have fun and enjoy their time here," Reeds said.

Creative staff at the NICU came up with the outfits. Reid had his distinctive walrus mustache and glasses. Some gripped small footballs and golden trophies. As a crowning touch, the staff made the babies special friendship bracelets, a favorite accessory of Swift fans.

"It's a special thing to come to work and see everybody excited, happy and love what they do," Reeds said.

NICU babies have dressed up for Halloween and Christmas before, but Reeds said the Super Bowl is different.

"We have some really big Chiefs fans — and Taylor Swift fans — here in the NICU," Reeds said. "Any opportunity we have to brighten the parents' days, we like to celebrate."

Day-to-day life in the NICU can be rough, but Reeds said these babies and their parents are resilient. This is one of the hardest things they'll go through in their lives.

Morgan and Kyler Folsom, from Independence, Kansas, watched as NICU staff filed into their room to admire their daughter Sloane. She is 47 days old and dressed as Taylor Swift. Her suite mate was dressed as Travis Kelce.

This is their first child, and it's been stressful having Sloane in the NICU, Morgan Folsom said with a heavy sigh.

"This isn't your typical birth story, especially with her being our first," Folsom said. "You don't get to do a lot of the firsts with her."

Celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl appearance has been fun for the family though, and Folsom appreciated the staff taking time to dress the babies.

"The nurses have made it special," Folsom said. "The staff are great here, they've made me feel really comfortable with the situation. This has helped a lot, it feels a bit more normal here."