HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Tennessee Valley families gathered in support of the George family and many others. The 11th annual event, Swim for Melissa, benefits Huntsville Hospital's NICU and supports NICU family services.
"The NICU is one of those places you never think you're going to end up. Ya know you get pregnant, you find out you're having a baby and you just think every thing is going to go great," said Amy George.
Although, that wasn't the case for the George family and not the case for many families across the country.
Chris and Amy George established the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial fund in memory of their daughter Melissa, who died shortly after birth. Melissa and her twin sister, Ann Catherine, were born 14 weeks early on June 1, 2005.
"Natural instinct is to take your baby home from the hospital and I'll never forget leaving the hospital empty handed," said George.
But hope for the George's and other NICU families was found in the signature event, Swim for Melissa.
"Every year when it comes to this event, I always think as we're here doing this, there are babies in the NICU and there are moms and dads by their bedside who are really scared right now and I know, because I've been there," said George.
Amy says they will continue to swim for NICU babies and their families as long as they can.
Last year, the fund celebrated 10 years of miracles with Swim for Melissa with nearly 200 swimmers participating. Between the 2015 Swim for Melissa and Miracle Bash, funds raised total $162,000. The money went to buy new equipment for the NICU, including a giraffe warmer.