Having a critically ill newborn is a harrowing experience. But for Alison and Josh Stern, what made it even harder were the times when they couldn’t be with their new baby in person. To address this situation — one that so many parents face — the Sterns started a fundraising campaign that will bring AngelEye cameras to the Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Through AngelEye Camera technology, parents can watch a video stream with their baby — from anywhere, whenever they want, and on any device. Throughout the pandemic, these cameras have also helped family members virtually visit the newborn babies.
According to Melody Dickerson, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer at Virginia Hospital Center, “These cameras are just transformational. The camera can be mounted on the incubator or on the crib of an infant and Mom and Dad can tune in to see their baby at any time.”
The campaign exceeded its initial goal of $20,000, raising over $72,000 in less than two months. This includes a $20,000 match by The Superhero Project – an organization that supports families with newborns in the NICU. Many of the donors were former Virginia Hospital Center NICU families themselves.
“We realized that the support from the community – especially from families who had a NICU stay at the Hospital – was really a reflection of the amazing care they had received,” said Josh Stern.
The secure live feeds are password protected and allow parents to watch their child from a phone or computer, reducing their worry and stress levels. They can talk, sing or read, which is a great way to bond with their baby — even when they can’t be next to them.
This wonderful addition to the Hospital will provide extra peace of mind to over 800 NICU families every year.