Closer to Home

Kearn Knapp, Family Member

Nearly four months after his birth, Kyle Knapp’s parents were still waiting for the day they could take him home. Born 16 weeks early, Kyle was a patient at Bronson Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With each day he would get bigger and stronger, and he was growing closer to going home.

Still, the waiting was tough. Kearn Knapp spent most days with him at the hospital, but had to say goodbye every night. Kyle’s dad could only visit a few times a week due to work. But the separation was made easier thanks to caring donors to the Bronson Health Foundation.

“I just logged in on my phone,” says Kearn, explaining how the newly installed NicView cameras allowed the parents to see a video view of their baby boy, even when they couldn’t be at his bedside. Cameras are installed over each isolette in the NICU and are on nearly 24/7. “I could check in on him late at night, just to see if he was sleeping,” says Kearn. She says before the cameras “I used to call the nurses’ station just so they could reassure me he was doing ok. With the cameras I could see for myself.”

A total of 50 cameras were purchased through generous donations from individuals and organizations and from proceeds from the Bronson Children’s Hospital 5K Run and Walk. “The cameras have made a significant difference for our NICU families– not just parents, but siblings and grandparents too,” says Wendy Finsterwald-Watts, manager of nursing in the NICU. Kearn says it was nice to connect with Kyle from home as hey waited for his first true homecoming. “It brought me peace of mind.”

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