NICU upgrades help Fairview's tiniest babies get off on the right foot

Donors invested in the NICU to help Fairview’s smallest patients.

Brent and Amelia Gazlay are no strangers to the Fairview Ridges Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Amelia went into premature labor with their first child and delivered daughter Isabelle at 31 weeks. She weighed just three pounds.

Brent recalls not even knowing what the NICU was at the time. “We had an amazing care team who really showed us the ropes,” says Brent. After 47 days, Isabelle was ready to go home.

“With our second daughter, McKenzie, we made it to 30 weeks,” says Amelia. While their story was similar the second time around, the facility was not.

Big improvements for little patients

Thanks to the generosity of donors, in the time since their last visit, the NICU has made considerable upgrades.

“We’re more committed than ever to creating a healing environment for our babies and families,” says Juanita Royle, interim assistant nurse manager. A recent renovation created lighter, brighter rooms and more spaces for families to spend time together.

“We expanded our family lounge and added rooms where parents can stay with their infant for a night or two before heading home,” says Juanita. “We’re really grateful to Fairview donors for making these improvements possible—they are really helping families begin their lives together on the best possible note.”

Improved labor and delivery technology

The hospital also has invested in improved labor and delivery technology. In the past year, for example, “panda warmers” have replaced traditional warming beds in many delivery rooms. Unlike a traditional warming bed, a panda warmer includes built-in respiratory support, weight scales and more.

“By replacing several pieces of equipment with one more advanced tool, we reduce the medical equipment necessary in our rooms and can respond more efficiently to a baby in distress,” says Juanita.

For the Gazlays, these improvements mean just one thing—happier, healthier infants. Says Amelia: “We’re so excited to bring McKenzie home. We’ll look back on this a year from now, with two happy, squirrely daughters running around at home.”

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