Cody and Brittany Pratt found out they were having twins at their 7.5-week ultrasound. “It was the best curve ball we could have asked for, both exciting and scary at the same time.”
They welcomed their twins, Everett and Ivy on April 9, 2020, at 34 weeks of pregnancy. The beautiful babies have now been in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for three weeks.
“The OB and NICU staff were wonderful,” says Brittany. “They are team players and have the patient and their family’s goals in mind the entire time they are caring for you. We really wish we could name everyone who helped us on our journey, but there are too many to name. Dr. Lessard is a great OB physician and really cares about her patients.”
Having their babies during a pandemic changed their birthing plan significantly. Dr. Lessard worked with them up to the point of delivery to ensure that everything would go perfectly. “We were introduced to the NICU at 30 weeks, which was great, so we knew what to expect with premature infants,” says Cody. “The day of delivery, we did not have any surprises. The staff kept us informed and let us know what to expect. The NICU team really does a great job keeping the parents involved in their baby’s care no matter how many lines they are connected to.”
“During this pandemic, access to the NICU and bedside visitation has been limited greatly. As you can imagine, this is very difficult for parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family,” says Amy Zabinski a patient care supervisor in the NICU.
“We are able to see our babies as parents, but it has not been an easy experience having to answer multiple questions and be screened every time you want to see your little ones,” says Brittany. “It has also been a challenge to figure out ways other family members, including the twins’ big brother, would be able to see them. We have also been nervous about bringing any unknown exposures into the twins.”
Cody and Brittany both think having a NicView camera system would have been a wonderful addition to their babies’ time in the NICU. “Every time we visited the twins, it was very difficult to leave. With an 8-year-old at home, we couldn’t be at the hospital as much as we wanted. A NicView would have given us the opportunity to see them even when we were at home. It would have also allowed our older son to see them more often too. Siblings wait a long time to meet the new baby and this situation was really hard on him.”
The NicView system would allow Altru NICU patients and family members “virtual” access to their newborn via streaming secure video on any device.
Altru Health Foundation will participate in Giving Tuesday Now, a global generosity movement event on May 5. All donations made to Altru Health Foundation at altru.org/donate on this day will benefit Altru’s NICU to install a NicView Camera System.
Altru Health Foundation has set a goal of $60,000 to install the NicView Camera System on 15 NICU patient beds. Gifts up to $300 do not require itemizing for the 2020 tax year to qualify for a charitable deduction under the new Universal Charitable Contribution. If just 200 generous donors give gifts of $300, we can meet our goal together and connect NICU families with their loved ones across the country.
To support Altru’s NICU, go to altru.org/donate and choose option Giving Tuesday NICU. You can make a difference and keep families connected!