While having a new baby is a joyful time, it can also be a very stressful time. Those first few nights at home are usually without sleep, as it takes a while to get a baby on a proper eating and sleeping schedule. And while that can be challenging enough, imagine how stressful it can be to have your baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the first few weeks of his/her life.
When a baby is in the NICU it is usually because they need special medical attention after delivery. Because their immune systems are often down, they are more susceptible to illnesses which is why parents have limited time with them, let alone the new grandparents who are eager to see the new baby. In most cases, relatives can only look at the baby from a distance until they are cleared to be taken home.
Parents of NICU babies are under a lot of pressure and they spend hours waiting around to see their baby or get updated information on their baby’s status. Because of this, parents often forego their own health and personal time, which can be draining on everyone.
Luckily, a new technology, called “Angel Eye” is allowing parents to watch their baby at all times, and they can even do so on their cell phone while they are away from the hospital. This technology came in particularly handy for Sam Last. Being a member of the United States Armed Forces, Last is no stranger to missing out on family time, but the Angel Eye has allowed him to watch his daughter in the NICU while he was thousands of miles away stationed in Kuwait. He had the convenience of being able to watch his daughter’s every move by watching footage of her on his cell phone.
“The Angel Eye gives the families the ability to see their baby any time and gives them that reassurance at night when they’re sleeping, when they wake up and are able to see them, and know they’re okay,” said Laurie Hay, a nurse at the University of Kansas Hospital.
Last was in Kuwait when his baby girl, Charley, was delivered and he was able to watch the moment on Facetime, but at the time Last and his wife didn’t know that Charley would get sent to the NICU right away.
“It was scary not having Sam home,” said Charley’s mom.
The revolutionary technology takes parents into the NICU anytime they want, regardless of visitation hours and medical procedures and they can watch the live NICU feeds anytime they want, either on their phone or tablet. Angel Eye was made possible thanks to a $73,000 grant that helped paid for the technology.
“I’m able to look at my daughter from seven thousand miles away, and just watching her move,” said Last who is forever grateful for the technology that allowed him to see his own little angel a little sooner than he expected. “Thank you so much, you are making dreams come true overseas and I hope you continue funding this.”