SACRAMENTO — Tennile Hooper spends hours in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sutter Memorial Hospital every day going back and forth between her twin sons born nearly four months premature.
She’s worried, tired and torn every time she has to go home and leave her babies.
“It’s unnatural to go home without your babies,” she said.
For three weeks she’s been looking forward to the day she could take them home. Monday night, for the first time, she did – in a way.
Hooper’s was one of two families who got to try out cameras just installed by Sutter.
“It’s brand spanking new. We actually just are … Today is our first day we’re installing them,” said NICU Nursing Director Christina Walsh.
The Angel Eye Camera systems are essentially a baby monitor.
“We have a camera that is over the baby that allows our moms to check in and look at their baby almost anytime they want to,” Walsh told FOX40.
Through an app, parents can access the cameras from anywhere. Monday night, Hooper and her husband had dinner with baby Ezekiel.
“He can’t make it down here as much as I can, so having that for him he can log in at work on his breaks, see the baby,” Hooper said.
The cameras at Sutter are courtesy of the Norah Foundation, named after the founder’s infant daughter who died in the NICU. The goal is to put a camera in every NICU bed.
Hooper, who lives in Amador County, and Selena, the other mother trying out the program who commutes from Yolo County, still don’t want to leave their babies’ bedsides but this eases the time they do have to spend away.
“You only get to stay here for a few days after delivery and then you have to go and you’re in tears,” Hooper said. “And so this brings a little relief for that.”