Welcoming the newest member of a family is among the most precious moments in life. And sometimes, we welcome our little ones extra early. That was the case for first-time mom, Sarya Ard, who gave birth to her daughter, Mailee, at just 25 weeks gestation.
“She was born at one pound and 13 ounces. She’s really made it a long way. She was on oxygen for a really long time,” Sarya said while cradling her sleeping baby in her arms.
Mailee has been in the St. Vincent Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for more than 130 days.
“It’s hard seeing your child go through that, knowing they should be home with you,” Sarya admitted. “She should only be three weeks old right now, but she just turned four months old a few days ago.”
St. Vincent Healthcare knows how important it is for our NICU parents and families to bond with their new baby, especially when they cannot be at the bedside. In 2013, St. Vincent Healthcare was a pioneer in being the first hospital within our four state region to introduce individual cameras mounted above each isolettes in our NICU. The NICVIEW cameras provide secure, live-streaming video for families to see their infant in real-time, day or night.
“Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and I’ll just miss her, so I can go and look at her through camera. Or even when I’m out at the store, I can check in on her to see if she’s awake or sleeping,” Sarya said. “It’s been awesome.”
St. Vincent Healthcare is grateful to be able to provide this service and help reduce the distress and anxiety parents can feel with they’re separated from their newborn.
“These cameras truly mean the world to our NICU families,” said Tina Stinson, St. Vincent Healthcare NICU Manager.
The isolette cameras are extra special for families during the pandemic due to visitor restrictions and not being able to meet their newest little family member in the hospital. The camera allows families to see their hospitalized infant through a mobile or desktop video view, when they are unable to be with the baby in person.
“It’s been four months and our family hasn’t been able to meet her yet. They love being able to login and watch her too,” Sarya said with a smile. “The video is really clear and great quality. And I love that it’s a secure, private account with a username and password.”
Thanks to the generous support of donors through the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation, the cameras were recently upgraded with the latest NICVIEW camera system. Among the donors that made the purchase possible are Wheaton Precious Metals and the Sibanye – Stillwater Mine.
“At Wheaton, investing in our communities has been a focus for over 15 years, and we are proud to continue this effort by supporting the NICU at St. Vincent Healthcare,” said Randy Smallwood, President & CEO of Wheaton Precious Metals. “We hope that the installation of cameras in the NICU will help ensure that families can view and connect with their newborn babies in a safe manner until they are healthy enough to leave the hospital. Through this contribution, we are helping families gain access to resources and support during this momentous time in their lives.”
The St. Vincent Healthcare NICU offers 20 beds, all of which will have a NICVIEW camera available for families.