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Rockford company's donation keeps virtual visits going for ICU patients

Spectrum Health reached out to Byrne Electrical Specialists, who were able to come up with a solution for patients going through a tough time.

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Hospitals can be a scary place to be, especially if you're in intensive care and even more so if you can't have visitors.

That's the situation right now for many people at Spectrum Health Hospital in Grand Rapids as medical crews work to prevent the spread of coronavirus. There are no visits right now, at least not physical ones.

But leaders from Spectrum came up with the idea to outfit all their ICU rooms with an iPad so patients can FaceTime with their families. Only one one problem. How do you keep those iPads charged so patients never have to log off if they don't want to?

"We were able to provide some USB charging units that Byrne manufactures locally in Rockford," said David Trierweiler, who is a Strategic Account Executive for Byrne.

"The intent of that is to make sure that iPad is plugged in 24/7 to keep it charged. We were able to fabricate and customize the mounting to the exact tripod that they deploy with these iPads."

Impressively enough, Trierweiler says the company had produced all 80 units within 24 hours of the hospital's request.

"It’s pretty cool to be able to hear some of the initial stories. I got a text on Saturday from the gentleman we were working with from Spectrum. It’s incredible," he said. 

"He mentioned the initial feedback from a patient who wasn’t able to see his wife from when he was admitted. How powerful that was for the patient and the staff and just the relief that took off everybody’s shoulders. Another family was going to celebrate their birthday with their family that weekend."

Across the street, Byrne Tool and Design has been using 3D printers to mass produce face shields. Their production capacity will benefit not only people here in West Michigan, but in other areas that need the shields as well.

How others are helping during the pandemic:

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