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Thursday
Apr122018

Deployed dad can watch infant son in hospital 24-7 thanks to webcam technology

iStock/Thinkstock(OREM, Utah) -- Despite being overseas and thousands of miles away from his family, a deployed member of the U.S. Air Force was still able to check in on his son while the newborn was in a hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) thanks to modern technology.

"He loved it," said Mary Girtman, wife to Staff Sgt. John Girtman. "It was really nice for him just because we have such a big time difference between us right now. He didn't have to rely on me being there a certain time for him to see his son."

John Carter Girtman was born prematurely on Jan. 29. He later stayed in the NICU for a little over a month while being treated for pneumonia and an urinary tract infection (UTI) at Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Utah.

The cameras were installed in each of the hospital's 24 NICU bays in 2017 through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence program and a grant from The Pathway of Excellence, the hospital told ABC News in a statement.

"The Girtmans have given so much for our country, and we were thrilled to help them better connect from thousands of miles away," said Sandy Ewell, the chief nursing officer at Timpanogos Regional Hospital. "These cameras also help local families who can’t be here with their babies as often as they would like due to other kids and responsibilities at home. There is great peace of mind that comes with the ability to check-in on their baby anytime and from anywhere."

The Girtmans have two children, 2-month-old John Carter Girtman and 1-year-old Maley Girman. John attended his son’s birth via FaceTime and has not yet met him in person.

When baby John was admitted to the NICU, the hospital provided Mary with a username and password so her husband could use the webcam to look in on his son, the mom told ABC News.

The infant has since been discharged from the hospital and is waiting for his father’s return.

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