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Albany Med Today

Gift to NICU: High-Tech Giraffe Beds


It was the tiniest little smile, but it was there for certain. Eight-week-old J.P. Woodley, all snuggled up and warm, must have been having a pleasant dream. Nearby, his mom Michelle watched and waited for her newborn son to awake so she could pick him up—a contrast to just a few weeks prior, when all she could do was watch.

“His skin was like paper…paper thin,” she remembers. “I was scared to even touch him.”

Even then, though, she knew J.P. was safe, cocooned in a Giraffe bed at Albany Med’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The long-necked, high-tech bed was a sanctuary for J.P., who weighed less than a pound-and-a-half at birth, as it is for other premature babies. Tiny patients can be monitored, kept warm, and undergo any necessary surgery all within the Giraffe.

Giraffe beds are a critical tool in the NICU, and thanks to the Charles R. Wood Foundation, Albany Med’s herd of Giraffes has grown significantly. The Lake George area foundation, established to support programs for children and health care, recently made a $250,000 gift to benefit NICU expansion in the new Patient Pavilion.

The generosity came with a bonus. If other donors combined to match that gift, the Wood Foundation would add an additional $250,000 donation.

It’s a challenge several Albany Med donors helped answer, resulting in a $750,000 total gift to the NICU expansion project.

“Partners like the Charles R. Wood Foundation play an important role supporting what the doctors, nurses and staff of Albany Med’s NICU do every day to provide expert and compassionate care for babies who sometimes are so small they would fit in the palm of your hand,” said David A. Clark, MD, director of the Children’s Hospital.