The Giraffe Dad of GE Builds the Panda Warmer and Giraffe OmniBed Incubator That Helped Save His Son

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Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | GE | Health | Healthcare | Technology | babies | giraffe omnibed | intensive care | prenatal

The Giraffe Dad of GE Builds the Panda Warmer and Giraffe OmniBed Incubator That Helped Save His Son

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"Giraffe Dad" of @GeneralElectric builds Panda Warmer & Giraffe OmniBed incubator that helped save his son http://3bl.me/py85v4
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 2:00pm

Mike and Jennifer Mills were looking to celebrate their wedding anniversary one Sunday last August. Jennifer was seven months pregnant with their third child. This could be their last chance to go out for some time. The couple lined up a babysitter, made dinner plans and even thought about catching a movie.

The plan didn’t work out. Instead, the couple spent the next five weeks caring for their newborn son at a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Jennifer woke Mike early morning on their big day. Her water broke. At 32 weeks, she was almost two months too early. They bundled their two small sleepy daughters into the car and Mike rushed the whole family to the hospital. Doctors worked to slow the birth. “Every day mattered,” Mills says. Most babies, for example, can’t breathe on their own this early. But Jennifer delivered son Brayden just three days later. He was eight weeks premature.

When Mike saw the hospital equipment sustaining his son, he started to worry less. He is an 11-year GE veteran and Brayden’s Panda Warmer and Giraffe OmniBed incubator were both manufactured by GE workers in Laurel, Maryland, the very factory where he serves as plant manager. “I know the equipment and how it works,” he says. “But I’ve never seen it in action. Now you see it and it’s your own kid. You don’t understand the value of it until you have used it.”

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