Shrewsbury, Mass. Family Who Lost 5-year-old Son Gives Back to UMass ICU

(NECN: Kristen Carosa) – A Shrewsbury, Mass. family is determined to turn their loss into others' gain. Last year, the Stevens family lost their son Andrew, at age five, due to complications from epilepsy.

Prior to his passing, Drew spent a significant amount of time in the hospital where his parents couldn't always be. Now, the Stevens' have found a way to help parents of other sick children stay more connected with their kids.

When Susan Stevens and her husband Chuck lost their son, she wasn't sure how they would go on. Drew lost a battle to epilepsy in April of last year at just five years old.

“Like all children are special - our little guy was one of those special kids,” Chuck says.
Before Drew's death, Susan and her husband spent many sleepless nights here at the pediatric unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

“We had a great connection with the folks here at UMass and we couldn't have asked for better care than he received.”

As a way to say thanks to Drew's doctors, Susan and Chuck raised $25,000 for three cameras.

Through this technology, their son will live on within what they call "Drew view."

“It allows parents, loved ones and care givers the ability to see their child when they physically can't be here in the ICU with them,” Chuck says.

Now, parents won't have be at their child's bedside all day.

Through a computer or an iPhone, parents will be able to see their child at any hour of the day through a secure site.

“These types of cameras are used all over the country in intensive care units but to our knowledge - UMass will be the only hospital that has the cameras in the pediatric intensive care unit.”

Dr. Scot Bateman says through what the Stevens family has been able to provide will give families comfort for years to come.

“They know what the care they received meant to them... And they, from the beginning were thinking about how we can deliver care better and this will make care better.”

And for the Stevens, they couldn't be more proud of the way their songs legacy will live on.

“It’s a tremendous day for us because we feel that Drew is still living here in the pediatric ICU.”

“It makes us happy and we know that Drew would be happy, too.”

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