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New Technology At Children's Hospital Keeps Family Close

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Parents from around the world come to Minnesota seeking treatment for their sick children. Thanks to new technology, their families back home don't have to feel so far away.

New video conferencing technology from a Bloomington-based company is helping dozens of families at the new Amplatz Children's Hospital.

Spend a few minutes with Kennedy Curvey and you would never know she's sick. Just a few months ago she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called Fanconia Anemia.

"Her energy has made it a lot easier," her dad, Michael Curvey said.

It brought her family a thousand miles from their home in Dallas, Texas, to Amplatz for what they hope will be life-saving treatment.

"We've been on this roller coaster trying to figure out what we need a lot of decisions to make over a short time," Michael Curvey said.

Usually, families will have to say goodbye for months at a time. This is the only Children's Hospital in the country that offers a whole new view. Kennedy's room is equipped with a giant television screen where several family members in different cities can log on and communication with video technology.

Right now, the 21 rooms have big video conference systems. There are also three mobile carts that float from room to room. The goal is to get all 96 of the rooms at Children's Hospital hooked up to the new technology.

"It's different on the Internet to say she's doing well to see her jumping around and playing it's really good," Kim Curvey, Kennedy's mom said.

A hospital spokesperson said it's helping kids feel like normal kids.

"It's very important for kids to stay connected with their normal life experiences," said Jason Albrecht, a child family life specialist.

Kennedy will have a bone marrow transplant, and if everything goes well, will be headed back home to Dallas in about four months.

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