‘Angel Eye’ brings families into Primary Children’s Hospital NICU virtually

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – During this Pandemic, the visitation policies at NICUs across the country have limited visitors.  This protects the little miracles but also leaves them with only parents visiting.  But now thanks to new cameras, entire families can see the new additions virtually.

Otto Funk was born March 30th.  His parents Lindsey and David explain, their little boy is a miracle.

Lindsey explained that after he was born in a very specialized C-Section, “Miraculously he was breathing and he was able to be hooked up to a ventilator and he is the first CHAOS baby to survive at Primary Children’s.”

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Otto has Congenital High Airway Obstruction Syndrome, also known as CHAOS.  In addition he has a few other heart problems.  Otto is alive today, but will spend significant time living in the NICU at Primary Children’s Hospital.  

Lindsey and David explained, “No one has seen our son, except for us.”

Having a baby with severe challenges is hard, but the Pandemic makes the Funk family situation nearly impossible and very lonely.

David explained, “Lindsey and I can’t even be at Otto’s bedside together.”

Despite visitor restrictions protecting these NICU babies, now family anywhere can watch them virtually thanks to Angel Eye.

David continued, “It is hard to always be there, so Angel Eye has been huge.  We can always see how he is doing.”

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But it isn’t just for Otto’s parents.  Now his Grandparents and other family can see him through this camera network.

Kara Curnen, the Neonatal Critical Care Director at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital said, “Before the Pandemic we looked at cameras to help families from far away feel connected, once the Pandemic occurred then it was clear we needed to start this as soon as possible.”

The Hospital has been looking into installing this password protected NICU Camera Network for some time, so when our world changed they quickly made it happen.

Curnen said, “There are financial benefits where families don’t have to travel back and forth, they don’t have to leave a job, they don’t have to leave their other children and they can just look at their children through Angel Eye.”

Angel Eye brings families closer to their NICU miracles.

Since Angel Eye arrived at Primary Children’s Hospital, 90 babies have been enrolled with 400 family members checking in.  This includes 22,000 views from 30 different states and four countries.

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