Neonatal Rescue evolved from a concept a leading neonatologist came up with on a flight home from an impact trip to Ghana. He saw a need: thousands of infants were dying from easily treatable issues related to asphyxia at birth. On the long flight home, he drew up a napkin sketch of a small, robust, and portable ventilator.
Through the help of BYU’s engineering department, a proof of concept was developed. It was then shared with the business school where a competition, the Y prize, was kicked off to put the solution into action. Kindall and Erica Palmer, two of the founders of Neonatal Rescue, immediately put together a team, including the respiratory therapist, to win the competition. During the competition, we spent a year developing a sustainable solution for infant mortality in developing countries like Cambodia. We were able to spend additional time in-country where, with the help of many respiratory therapists, doctors, engineers, and the local healthcare providers, we refined and developed the Neolife Ventilator and training plan to better fit the needs there.
At Neonatal Rescue, we understand that a ventilator or any piece of medical equipment offered without training is useless. Throughout our travels, we have seen many “equipment graveyards,” rooms full of expensive equipment that sits untouched because of a lack of support. Our goal is not to simply drop off a ventilator and leave; we aim to change the healthcare systems and empower the patients and healthcare providers in the countries we visit. This takes an enormous amount of resources and effort. Along with our affordable, innovative medical devices, we are committed to providing ongoing in-person training, materials, and repairs, which are all crucial to our programs’ success.
Neonatal Rescue members learned firsthand the sobering reality that millions of parents are confronted with every single year, many of whom are not fortunate enough to have access to a ventilator and trained personnel. We are dedicated to providing access to these critical devices and training all around the world to save lives.
Critical breathing support, including CPAP and ventilator, can save many of the 3 million newborns that die each year in the first 28 days of life (Partnership, 2011). The NeoLife Ventilator is a simple, inexpensive neonatal CPAP/ventilator designed with and for health care workers in developing countries.