The smallest humans on Earth are constantly trying to find warmth, even though they may be the most vulnerable.
Grace Hsia Haberl is a UPS vehicle asset specialist from Michigan. She developed the technology for an incuba blanket as part her material science engineering capstone project.
Warmilu has been used to warm more than 37,700 babies across 19 countries.
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Hsia Haberl (32), told Fox News Digital that she learned that 140 babies per day die from hypothermia-related causes.
“That struck me really because I was preterm born. [at] “Low birth weight,” she stated.
“So, if I’d been born in one of these resource-scarce nations, I’d have died.” Being so small … the incubator where I spent my first 11 days saved my life.”
Hsia Haberl was inspired by her personal circumstances to develop a safe, solid concept that could be used to help others.
“It gave my a strong drive to give infants and teams serving them a personal mission. [with] The support they required because I often reminded myself that my parents needed it. [I] She said she could have been there.”
Neonatal hypothermia occurs when a newborn’s body temperature is reduced to less than 36.5°C or 97.7°F. The NIH stated that it is a worldwide problem for preemies who are born at home or in hospitals, particularly in developing countries.
Lawrence Fordjour M.D. is a neonatologist at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. He is also a clinical associate professor of Pediatrics. Through the Making Every Baby Count Initiative (MEBCI), he and others are working to improve the survival of sick and small newborns in Sub-Saharan Africa, where there’s an inability to purchase incubators.
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He stated that Warmilu blankets are part their strategy.
Fordjour stated that it allows Fordjour to transport babies and resuscitate them in areas with a shortage in thermal care.
Fordjour said that Warmilu is employed in hospitals with limited resources for premature babies because of its cost-effectiveness, and also because it is easy to use.
“We use something similar in the United States, but it is disposable. [has a] Fordjour stated, “One-time use.”
One Warmilu “can” be reused 100x. The gel can be reactivated and used over and over. This gel is definitely economical. Once activated, it provides warmth for babies for at most two to three hours.
He said that the feedback received from Ghanaian nurses and doctors confirms Warmilu’s ability to do the job effectively.
Fordjour stated that “the survival is better.” The product’s benefits are recognized by the providers. It is making a huge difference.”
The creation of a prototype
Warmilu means “Warm,I Love You”, Hsia Haberl said to Fox News Digital.
She and a team of engineering student from the University of Michigan developed and designed the blanket in 2011. It generates long-lasting, nonelectric, controlled warmth that can be used to prevent hypothermia in infants.
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It’s made up of a warm blanket, specially designed for premature babies, and an InstaWarmer heat pad, which can be reused up 100 times.
Hsia Haberl stated that Warmilu’s growth continued despite its successes and setbacks.
She visited hospitals around the world and often found resource-scarce teams providing warming care for infants on older or broken incubators — or no incubators at all.
Sometimes, there were up to six babies in an incubator.
Hsia Haberl stated that these hospitals could often care for twice as many infants than a standard U.S. hospital.
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Hsia Haberl stated that she has traveled to India and Uganda, Uganda, Kenya, and Kenya to find out about the challenges faced by hospital staff in infant and maternal healthcare.
The team then built a prototype, sought grants and other funding — with encouragement from members of the U.S. and global medical community who knew the need.
In 2017, Warmilu was awarded a U.S. patent — but there was still a long way to go, Hsia Haberl said.
Hsia Haberl explained that as production, distribution, and fundraising continued, she encountered a sudden roadblock which became an opportunity.
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“We had an orphaned order with one our ministries of healthcare, and that was when all of sudden UPS came into mine,” she explained.
“Not only were they able to help us break into these countries — we were in India, Kenya and Uganda at the time — but they gave us our first business shipping account.”
In 2018, Hisa Haberl began working at UPS as a package handler, loading three to five brown trucks a day with 200-400 packages in each.
She was a small-framed 28-year-old at the time — competing with Eastern Michigan University football players to land a very physical job, she said.
“Most of the [my paychecks] Hisa Haberl explained that she immediately went to her seamstresses, as well my team of warming pack producers, to make the blankets.
However, she stated that UPS was much more than a job.
“We have a business account with them. [UPS] We were offered discounts, deals, or other resources. [we could not] “Get through other shipping firms,” she stated.
A blanket can save the lives of premature babies. Super #UPSer Grace Hsia founded the non-profit @Warmilu You can make non-electric blankets. Warming babies & hearts and saving lives.
— UPS (@UPS) December 3, 2021
Hsia Haberl credits her work at UPS for other aspects of Warmilu’s growth.
“I learned things such as how to file customs paperwork, ship to countries like South Africa, Ghana or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That was incredibly helpful, as before my time at UPS, I had lost $30,000 on an order due to mistakes in my customs paperwork,” she said.
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UPS employees even offered to help trace and cut fabric for blankets that are saving lives, Hsia Haberl stated.
Hsia Haberl’s coworkers told Fox News Digital that her hard work and spirit inspires others. Hsia also works at UPS and runs Warmilu. She is also an adjunct lecturer for the University of Michigan.
“It’s amazing how she’s able to balance all those things in her life,” said Joe Zywol, a UPS industrial engineering coordinator who has worked with Hsia Haberl.
“She always brings 150% energy — and people feed off that.”
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Michael Scott, a UPS corporate communications supervisor said that Grace’s energy was like a bolt from lightning. Grace is one those people who you can see when they enter a room. She’s on a mission to help people and she’s doing exactly what she set out to do.”
Warming babies in Ukraine is Hsia Haberl and Warmilu’s next big project.
It’s already in motion.
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Hsia Haberl explained that “there are areas that don’t have electricity right at the moment because of the bombarding that’s happened.”
“The Ukraine winter is cold. Many maternity hospitals have moved their core team and care facilities underground in an effort to protect patients against Russian bombs.”
Hsia Haberl explained that her engineering career has been a rewarding one. She loves to solve “big and ambitious” problems.
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She replied that she would advise students and young entrepreneurs to “Step up and find solutions where there is a problem in real life.”
She continued, “Ask your self: Is there a step I can take to try and solve this problem?”
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