SPOKANE, Wash. – Have you ever wondered what your money is used for when you buy a “Children’s Miracle Network Balloon” at a grocery store?

Well in Eastern Washington, those balloon sales helped purchase “NIC-VIEW” cameras for the neonatal intensive care unit at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The cameras give parents who cannot be with their baby a secure, real time view of their infant 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hunter is about seven weeks old. He now weighs three pounds and ten ounces.

“He was due in July,” his mom Heidi said. “July 5th was his birthday. So, we’re still working on the fact that I have a baby already!”

He has a little more growing to do so he will be at the hospital for a while longer. Heidi comes to see him every day, but she can check in on Hunter even when she is not at the hospital.

The new NICVIEW cameras hover over infants in the NICU and allow families to see their newest family member in real time.

“In the wee hours of the morning it’s not easy to get in the car and drive to the hospital, so I am able to just log on and see what he’s doing,” she said.

Heidi said it also has been a great way to know if Hunter is doing as he is told.

“My son has a tendency to pull on the tubes that have been placed and so I’ve gotten still shots from my husband saying you need to correct our son,” she said.

Family members who are unable to make the trip to meet Hunter in person can make up for the delayed visit by logging in as well.

“My son is being looked over by a ton of people. I’ll get texts from them throughout the day like he’s really active today, or he’s really asleep today.”

Heidi said she believes it helps them be connected to what happens to him on a daily basis.

The NICU also restricts the area to people 18 years and older. So for younger siblings, like Heidi’s 14-year-old step daughter, the NICVIEW cameras give her a chance to meet her brother early.

“She still is working on how big or small he is,” Heidi said. “It’s the only way she’s been able to see him.”

Heidi said using the cameras are as simple as using Skype.

Dr. Keith Gerogeson said the cameras were installed at the beginning of 2017 – all thanks to donations from the Children’s Miracle Network.