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NICU cameras give parents 24/7 access to babies at Franciscan Health

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Posted at 6:05 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 09:47:28-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Little ones in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) often need to stay in the hospital a little longer while mom and dad get to go home.

Now, at Franciscan Health on Indy's south side, those parents can still see their babies at any time, even though they aren't physically there thanks to the AngelEye Health camera system.

Cameras give parents 24/7 access to their little one. All they have to do is pull up the live stream on their phone and watch.

"Being able to give us some comfort when we go home at night is just a big relief for us," Zach Jessen said. "We don't have to feel like should we be at the hospital all night long just being that parental instinct."

34-week-old Wrenlee and Waylon Jessen are miracle babies for mom, Kate, and dad, Zach.

"I am just so happy they are here and healthy. That's all you could ever want as a mom," Kate Jessen said.

"It's an honor to be able to bring these guys into this life now after going through such trauma and heartache we have been through. It's definitely a blessing for us," Zach said.

Last year, the Jessen's lost their four-year-old daughter, Addie Mae, to cancer.

Recovery has been tough.

They said leaving the hospital without the twins is hard, but Franciscan's new camera system helps.

"Honestly having access to the technology like the AngelEye has made it so much easier for us. Being here is a trigger just leaving your baby after we lost our 4-year-old," Kate said. "When we are not up here we definitely peak at it a lot on the cameras. It gives us comfort."

The cameras are in 29 NICU beds at the hospital.

Parents and loved ones can watch their babies at any time throughout the day.

"The grandparents love it. They put it up on their TV," Zach said.

There is no sound, but nurses can send messages to parents updating them on the patient's status.

"We get little messages like, 'Hi mom.' Just little things are new or updates, we've gained weight or any changes so it's nice being able to communicate on there too," Kate said.

Lori Kraeszig is the NICU Unit Manager.

"I always wanted my staff to be able to reach out to families just to give them an update, but there is just not time to sit down and make those phone calls," Kraeszig said.

To make it easier on parents and staff, she helped get the new camera system in place along with patient care coordinator, Jennifer Johnson.

It took two years.

"It's very heartwarming and it just gives them a peace of mind," Johnson said.

The cameras cost Franciscan Health $100,000 for service throughout 2022.

A blessing the Jessen's say was needed.

"The AngelEye has been a game-changer for hospitals and how they are going to go forward with NICUs and things like that. I think it's very special that they do that for the parents," Zach said.

Franciscan Health says it plans to renew the AngelEye Health cameras annually.

The cameras are also installed at Franciscan Health in Lafayette.