Angel Eye Cameras Making a Difference in Connecticut Children’s NICU

It was a Mother’s Day Angela Negron will never forget. The day started with hugs and kisses from her husband and 4-year-old daughter Ariana. Negron was also 22 weeks pregnant with her second daughter at the time and couldn’t wait to meet the newest addition to her family. Turns out, baby Daniella couldn’t wait either.

“We were celebrating Mother’s Day when my water broke,” said Angela Negron, of Columbia. “I look at my husband and we both knew something was very wrong.”

Ernesto Negron rushed his wife to the hospital where she was immediately put on hospital bed rest for the better part of three weeks just trying to keep her in as long as possible. On June 9th, little Daniella was born weighing in at just a little more than 2 pounds.

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“I just can’t even put into words how I feel between being heartbroken that she has to be so premature and go through this,” Angela Negron said. “It feels like she’s not mine almost because you don’t go through the normal motions of taking your baby home with you.”

But some new technology is now making things a little easier for families like the Negron’s. Overhead cameras called Angel Eye Cams now give parents of premature infants, like Daniela, being cared for at Connecticut Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit the chance to log in and see their babies at any time of day from any location in the world.

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“It’s like peace of mind, especially for us because we live almost 40 minutes away,” Ernesto Negron said.

Doctors said the cameras are giving mothers such as Negron a sort-of virtual support.
“I think it’s going to be a great help for the family as a unit to stay involved with the baby and stay involved with each other during this time,” said Dr. Victor Herson, Connecticut Children’s NICU medical director.

The web cams are mounted above the incubator on a long, specially constructed arm. The cameras give parents and other family member’s access to a live video stream, which they can watch at any time from their computer or mobile device.

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“Our plan is to outfit every NICU bed with a camera, both here in our Hartford NICU and also at our NICU in Farmington,” Herson said.

Right now, there are three Angel Eye Cams at the NICU in Hartford. An expensive accomplishment made possible, thanks to nine Connecticut’s rotary clubs.

“It’s $2,500 per camera,” said Ed Silverstein, who is the president of the Newington Rotary Club. “We’re talking about an investment of close to quarter of a million dollars to get all these cameras.”

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Not only that, but Silverstein understands how invaluable technology like this can be to a family in these circumstances.

“The Worcester, MA rotaries were among the first to do this. When they tracked the family members that had been among the first to take advantage of this technology, they linked an IP address to an uncle on an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea who was logging in to see his nephew.” Silverstein said. “It goes right to the heart.”

 

 

While the rotary clubs work on raising more funds for these special cameras, Angela Negron said she will be checking-in on Daniella from home since her husband is back at work, and the doctors told her she has to rest.

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“They said I can’t drive for six weeks, so that’s going to be tough,” Angela Negron said. “That will be extra wonderful having the camera that I can see her. I’m going to call it Daniela TV. My oldest will think her baby sister is famous!”

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