Donation allows for cameras that let parents watch children in NICU at South Miami hospital

SOUTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - A generous donation has made it possible for parents to connect with and watch their babies who need extra care at a South Florida Hospital.

Few things are more concerning to a new parent than having a baby admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit. But what’s even harder is having to leave their baby in the NICU.

“It’s really hard to explain if you haven’t been through it,” said mother Darlene Biltz.

Darlene and her husband, Shane Blitz, have been traveling to South Miami Hospital from Naples for quite some time. Their son, Vincent, was born prematurely, weighing only 1 pound and needed to stay in the NICU — alone.

“When we leave on Sunday, it’s the hardest thing that we have to go through,” Darlene said.

But thanks to a generous donation — things are now looking different for parents.

“We were able to purchase 62 cameras for our 62-bed unit,” said Dr. Jorge Perez, the Medical Director of the NICU at the hospital.

The camera, called the NIC-view, provides live streaming video for parents to monitor their babies from their cellphones or a computer.

“This is just a way for our parents to be in touch and stay in touch with their child,” Perez said.

The system is new to NICUs in the country. South Miami Hospital is one of the first in the region to get the cameras up and running.

“We’re one of the largest neonatal intensive care units in the area, and it was very important for us, as parents coming from out of town or mothers going back to work earlier and then saving their time off for when their babies go home,” Perez said.

Everything is web-based and all accounts are password protected.

Now, parents can have some peace of mind and keep an eye on their baby’s recovery every step of the way.

“It keeps you grounded. It keeps you knowing what’s important and most importantly, it keeps me and my wife on the same page,” Shane said.

“If it wasn’t for the camera, I wouldn’t have been as calm and collected as I have been,” Darlene said.

Dr. Perez said they’ve seen more than 9500 log ins from at least 11 states and 12 countries. Meanwhile, good news for the Biltz family, Vincent will be discharged just in time for Christmas.

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