Virtual Visits With Hospitalized Preemies Give Parents Peace Of Mind

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4)– Premature babies often spend months in intensive care in the hospital. It’s difficult for parents to be there 24/7, but there is a way for them to see and bond with the baby from a distance: a live stream right from the hospital incubator.

“He’s pretty special,” said Amanda Borcherding, describing her newborn son.

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Crosby Bernard Borcherding (credit: CBS)

Tiny Crosby Bernard Borcherding was born Aug. 11, 12 weeks early.

“He was 1 pound 8 ounces, 13 inches long,” said his mother.

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CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh interviews Amanda Borcherding (credit: CBS)

Crosby is in the neonatal intensive care unit, the NICU, at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC). He’s got both a breathing tube and a feeding tube.

“And now he’s just working to get bigger and develop his lungs,” said Amanda.

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(credit: CBS)

His mother spends eight hours a day by Crosby’s side. And when she can’t be there, she can watch her baby boy around the clock through a system called NicView.

“You log in and it pops up,” Amanda explained.

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Amanda Borcherding (credit: CBS)

Through a password-protected website and on her smart phone, Amanda can view secure live video of Crosby from a camera close to his bed. Dad, Mike, can see his son anytime on the computer at his office in Boulder.

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(credit: CBS)

“We can tell that he’s doing okay. We can even see him open his eyes and yawn,” explained Amanda.

Neonatologist Dr. David Horst says the camera system is especially comforting for out-of-state parents who have to go home and leave their baby behind.

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(credit: CBS)

“Having the ability to still see your kid whenever you want, I think, relieves a lot of that anxiety,” said Horst, Medical Director of the NICU at RMHC.

Crosby may need about six more weeks in the NICU. His parents will be there encouraging him. And they’ll be making plenty of “virtual visits” until he can finally go home.

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CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh interviews Neonatologist Dr. David Horst (credit: CBS)

“Just a little glimpse every now and then is really reassuring,” said Amanda.

The live stream is also great for grandparents and other relatives who want to check in on the little guy. It is turned off when the medical staff is treating the baby. When it comes back on, parents can see their newborn is in good hands.

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(credit: CBS)

RMHC also has NicView cameras in the NICU’s at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Sky Ridge, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Swedish and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Rose Medical Center.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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