By: Kati Blocker, UCHealth

Six weeks before her due date, Erin Decker suddenly learned she had to have an emergency cesarean section.

The Wyoming woman had had a healthy pregnancy. She and her husband, David, even traveled to Israel and Jordan the month before their son’s birth to finish their graduate degrees in theology from The WEST Institute in Laramie, Wyoming.

Then contractions started and her son’s heart rate was dropping.

Doctors at Ivinson Memorial Hospital, in Laramie, delivered the Deckers’ son, Mason, at just 34 weeks on Aug. 19.

What transpired after Mason’s unexpected early arrival in the world was gut-wrenching for the family. Mason had to spend more than seven weeks at UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, about an hour south of the family’s home.

During forced separations between mother and son, Erin loved checking on Mason via a bedside monitoring camera—a new innovation at Poudre Valley Hospital, made possible through donor generosity.

The hospital’s parent and family advisory council (PFAC), a group of NICU parent volunteers, collaborate to find ways to improve the patient experience. The NICU PFAC received a substantial grant from The Antioch Foundation and additional funds from UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation to purchase and install 16 NICVIEW cameras.

Read the full story and see more photos of the family and how the NICU cameras enabled this new mother to see her son, Mason, when she was at home, ill, just days after his birth.