There’s an emotional power to virtual reality technology that you probably never even knew existed.
When Alison and Jason ‘Jace’ Larke found out they were expecting their third child they were overjoyed. Like all expecting parents, the West Australian couple were thrilled to welcome another child, a sibling for their sons Mitchell, 3, and Beau, 2.
But Jace’s commitments as a ‘fly in, fly out’ (FIFO) contractor posed a bit of a dilemma for the couple. He was torn between the decision to take a four week job that would provide more financial security for his family and the decision to remain in Perth for the baby’s birth.
Jace eventually decided to take the job in the remote Queensland mining town of Chinchilla, a dizzying 4,000 kilometres from Perth.
But then an opportunity was offered. A world-first opportunity that would mean Jace could be right there, by his wife’s side for the birth of their son, through the power of technology.
Jace would use a virtual reality headset, provided by Samsung LifeLIVE, to experience his son’s birth as if he was actually standing in the room alongside Alison.
“After we found out I was five weeks pregnant with our third child, we watched our baby grow, found out he was a boy and dreamed about what the future may hold,” Alison said.
“Then at 30 weeks pregnant, Jace’s contract roster was confirmed and it was more than likely he would miss the birth our baby, pending a miracle. But that’s exactly what we got.
“Jace was able to see our son born and experience the birth as if he was in the room with me even though he was working away on the other side of the country.”
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“The whole experience has been something that we really didn’t see coming,” Alison has since said.
“It was actually really comforting for me to know that Jace got that opportunity to see Steele born and essentially be with me right there in the delivery room, throughout the 4.5hr labour, though in a completely different way to when our other sons were born.”
“As a FIFO family, we have to make these tough decisions and there is little flexibility for saying no to work. It can be hard at times, especially for life moments like this, but this was definitely something that bridged that distance for Jace. He felt like he was a part of it and that was such a comfort to me, it was just extraordinary.”
Alison and Jace’s story shows the incredible role that technology can play in bridging distances and bringing people closer together.
Although it’s sure to divide opinion, virtual reality may just be the way to go for giving those in need of a miracle the chance to be a part of something truly extraordinary.
What do you think? Is virtual reality technology part of the future of giving birth?