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‘Angel Eyes’ allowing NICU parents to see infants from home

Hospitals have a special care unit for babies who are born too early or with complications, and the parents are given confidence from the compassionate care the staff provides.Overlake Medical Center has gone the extra mile to make that necessary stay a little easier.

Having a baby is a special time, and sharing the event with family and friends is only natural. But when complications arise and a newborn needs extra care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it can cause stress and concern.

“I have my twins here, Jackson and Charlie, and they were born at 33 weeks. So they came a lot earlier than expected,” Ashley Pose, a new mother of twins, explained.

Ashley's newborns are at Overlake Medical Center where the staff provides 24/7 care throughout the year, and of course during the holidays.

“We are blessed that they are healthy and everything came out great with them, and all they need to do is work on their feeding,” says Ashley.

Parents of newborns spend endless hours watching over their infants and are bound to wear out; they often feel a need to be there for every moment even though the hospital may be miles from home.

“I'm usually here all day, and my boyfriend comes here after work so we try to spend as much time as we can with them,” says Ashley.

But, eventually, the time comes when you must return home, even though you know you're leaving something important behind.

To help out, parents can now rely on a secure webcam called Angel Eye, and Overlake is the first in our area to feature the device with a camera available for every guest at the NICU.

“It's a camera system, and it allows parents to log in from anywhere in the world and be able to see their baby whenever they want,” explains Sarah Metroka, an IS System Analyst, at Overlake Medical Center.

“When I'm up during the night, I'll log in and check in and see them, usually they're just kind of hanging there and sleeping, but it's nice. You get a feeling of relief just to be able to check in that way,” says Ashley who has relatives in Pennsylvania, Barcelona, and further south.

“I have family in Argentina, and they're able to text me and say, oh Charlie is sucking her thumb or Jackson's very alert he's looking around, and that's cool,” Ashley said.

Mom must give permission to watch, and once she has, you can check in on your soon to be favorite grandson or niece any time of the day.

And mom has an added feature; only her screen includes a microphone button so she can softly talk to her child and create the bond that will last the rest of their lives.

“Mom can talk, mom can sing, she can do whatever she wants through that audio to make that connection with baby,” says Metroka.

It's become important for families who want to share in this most precious time and they all seem to agree.

Ashley says they love it.