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Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley hopes to add webcams to its new NICU

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BOARDMAN, Ohio - Lyla Jones has always had eyes peering down on her. However, they haven't always been those of her parents.

Born premature, Lyla spent more than two months in the NICU at Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.

"I was ok the first night and then the second day we went up. And then when we went up, I came down and my husband and my mother-in-law went up and they came down and I was just in tears and they were like, 'Oh what is wrong?' and I was like, 'I don't want to leave her," said Nicole Jones of Columbiana.

But she had to and she did.

While not much would have made that time apart easier, Nicole says she would have found some comfort in seeing her daughter on a webcam; technology that's become quite popular in other NICU's.

"In the middle of the night I would call up. Instead of doing that, I could have just checked on her. It would have been really nice," Jones said.

And it may be really nice for future families. The staff at Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley hopes to add webcams to the new NICU in Boardman when it opens.

"Hospital systems are large systems. There are a lot of physicians. There are a lot of nurses. There is a lot of support staff. The family doesn't get to know all of those staff members. So when they go home at night they are not sure. They may not have met the physician or the nurse that is taking care of their baby. So just by seeing the baby just helps them be calmer," said Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley Neonatologist Dr. Elena Rossi.

The hospital must secure funding for the webcams. Dr. Elena Rossi believes it will cost around $100,000 to outfit the 25 room unit.

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