DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado mother is helping premature babies breathe easier. She came up with a special backpack after her son was born 3 months early.

The backpacks are called “Busy Breathers” and CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh found out how they work.

It’s frustrating enough to carry all that’s needed for a baby, as well as a purse. Imagine adding oxygen to the list.

Hannah Elizabeth and Henry James are the precious Jensson twins born 7 weeks early. Mother, Laura, is learning how to care for them when she takes them home from Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center. Besides the baths and bottles, the two will need oxygen for a while.

One baby can be a handful, but imagine two babies tethered to an air supply.

“That part’s a little surreal just thinking about going home with everything they’re going to need,” Laura said.

Enter Michelle Staley. She remembers the same uncertainty. Seven years ago on Valentine’s Day her son was born at PSL. He was 3 months early and weighed just 1 1/2 pounds.

“Very sick; we were told he wasn’t going to survive,” Staley said.

But Ty went home at 4 months. He was on oxygen for 2 years and in that time Staley overcame some of her concerns with an invention.

“This is the Busy Breather backpack that I designed,” Staley said.

It’s a backpack made to hold the oxygen cylinder. It has an opening for the tubing and plenty of room for other supplies.

“If you don’t want to you won’t have to carry a separate diaper bag, a separate purse,” Staley said.

Staley donated two of the bags to the Jenssons. The prototype helped get her through tough times with Ty, now a happy kindergartner. She wants the same for Laura.

“I’m just so happy I’m going to be able to make things a little bit easier for you,” Staley told Laura.

There are Busy Breather backpacks for adults on oxygen as well. Find them at Walgreens or on the Busy Breathers website.


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