During the coronavirus pandemic, many parents have sadly been unable to visit their poorly babies in hospital.

Thanks to your donations, we funded the vCreate app on the Neonatal Units at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s Hospital.

vCreate is an NHS trusted secure video messaging app, helping to minimise separation anxiety in parents of children in Neonatal and Paediatric Units. Staff on the unit can use the app to send parents photos and short videos of their baby when they are unable to be with them.

Mum of five Maria knows just how difficult it is for parents who are currently separated from their babies. Her son Reggie was born 31 weeks prematurely last August and spent seven weeks in hospital.

 Maria said: “The first time I left Reggie alone on the unit he was just two weeks old, but when I received a photo of him that night, it gave me peace of mind that he was in safe hands. Sometimes I would wake up in the night worrying if he was ok and I only had to pick up the phone to the ward and they would send me a photo or video update.”

This new technology aims to help parents stay connected through photo and video updates from nurses in the neonatal unit.

Then, when the baby goes home, parents can download the clips, and save them to form part of a ‘baby care diary’. This helps to ensure that parents won’t miss out on any special moments in their baby’s care journey.

Maria is so grateful for the charity funded app, “All of my children were born prematurely but when I was first on the unit with my twins 20 years ago there wasn’t anything like this! During what can be a very scary time, the app is so wonderful, it gives parents like me reassurance that their baby is safe and well.”

Little Reggie is now 10 months old and has gone from strength to strength and has just started to crawl.