When Sarah Cartee's twins were born they spent the first 14 weeks of their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit at Spartanburg Medical Center.

She went into early labor June 6, 2016, when her pregnancy was at just under 27 weeks.  Her newborn sons Henry and Waylon overcame all obstacles with help from their parents and the medical staff at the hospital to become healthy boys.

Cartee, of Boiling Springs, was among nearly 200 families who celebrated Saturday during a reunion hosted at the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Child Development Center on North Pine Street.

The reunion is hosted every other year to all allow families to reunite with staff from the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and to support others who have shared experiences. Cartee said her 2-year-old boys are healthy and love to play outdoors.

"It's just an accomplishment to know that we have come so far from them being so little when they were born to now running around in the park and playing with other kids with no complications," Cartee said. "When they were born, it was such a roller coaster with a lot of highs and a lot of lows. It's still emotional today, but right now we are living on a high."

Christina Hill of Spartanburg has worked for the past 15 years as a member of NICU team. She always looks forward to the reunion because it allows her to reconnect with those families she has helped.

"This right here is my favorite thing we do," Hill said. "Some of the babies are in there for months, and the families don't get to see them and don't know what time they will get them back."

Hill said oftentimes nurses providing care for the newborns and children form friendships with their parents. She was excited to see several families she had helped at the reunion.

"It's good to see them and find out how well they are doing, and it warms your heart to know that you had a tiny part in the miracle of all that they were able to accomplish," Hill said.

Hill spent part of the reunion visiting with Amber Earls of Spartanburg. She helped Earls' daughter Adalya in the NICU in 2016. When Adalya was born March 3, 2016, she only weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces.

"She was born 11 weeks early and spent 10 weeks in the NICU," Amber Earls said. "I didn't live far from the hospital, so I visited her 69 out of 70 days she was there. I grew a connection to a lot of the nurses and a lot of the other babies. It's nice to see them all here running around and healthy."

Earls said she attended the reunion in 2016 and was excited to see Hill again this year.

Several of the children were dressed as super heroes, including Batman, Wonder Woman and the Hulk. They played games, splashed in a swimming pool, and had fun on slides at the center's playground.

"Today, we held our reunion to honor the graduates that made it through," said Georgie McAbee, Spartanburg Medical Center assistant nurse manager of PICU. "The families go through a lot and don't intend to end up in NICU. Some patients stay for months at a time, and we are there to take care of their babies. Once they finally get to go home, it's so exciting for us to hand them over to their parents to take them home. When they come to the reunion, it's exciting for us to see how much they have grown."