By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
I know of a premature baby who spent more than 100 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. The separation from family was all the more difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, her grandmother was able to keep a watchful eye on her from afar, thanks to the miracle of technology. A video camera in the NICU enabled her to see her precious grandchild via a screen. It was the next best thing to being there.
But my friend’s experience was not unique. For instance, Penn State’s Children’s Hospital bought more than 50 “AngelEye” cameras in 2020 through a grant offered by the Children’s Miracle Network. As one family told Penn State Health News, they were able to view a 24-hour-a-day, seven day-a-week “show” of their baby Penelope. The “Penelope Show” kept them entertained and informed as their little girl weathered surgeries for a clubbed foot and cleft palate.
Meanwhile, the Valdosta Daily Times has reported about the AngelEye system used by the South Georgia Medical Center. As hospital officials told the news outlet, “This is especially beneficial for parents with babies in the NICU. Leaving a newborn at the hospital can be very challenging for working parents and remote families. “Virtual care technology can make a big difference in allowing parents 24/7 access to their newborn ensuring more effective collaboration between care teams and families,” the hospital officials added.
Because of continued concerns about her grandchild’s health, even after she came home from the hospital, my friend is unable to see her granddaughter face-to-face. She is praying for the day when Coronavirus is a memory and she can hold her grandchild in her arms.
Yet she will always treasure those days when a video system enabled her to watch her grand baby receive loving care from a dedicated nursing staff dedicated to doing everything possible to preserve life.