Jacob’s Story: Here We Go With WeeGeaux!

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Jacob’s Story: Here We Go With WeeGeaux!


Jacob Aucoin is a fifth grade student at Duplessis Primary and is a frequent patient at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital due to a chronic illness. As a 10-year-old boy who spends a lot of time in and out of the hospital, he often has to miss days of school and fun activities with his classmates and friends. That all changed when a VGo, a remote-controlled robot that allows patients to participate in virtual outings, was donated to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

4theKids, a teen charity in Baton Rouge, generously donated a VGo robot to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in hopes of completely transforming the family and patient experience. VGo is a remote controlled robot that allows patients to visit their friends and family at school or other special events that they can’t attend while in the hospital. The patient is able to control the robot from an application or website on any type of electronic device or computer. The robot stands in the place of the patient, and the patient can drive and interact through the screen of the VGo.

“Our research of the VGo was an exciting solution to improving the patients’ need to remain in touch with others,” said 4theKids Founder Elizabeth Sherman. “Jacob’s virtual outing is a perfect example of 4theKids’ mission to make things better for kids, and of the emotional and resulting physical support and improvement we hoped it would provide to patients. Watching Jacob’s expressions as he interacted with his classmates brought us all to tears.”

Jacob was able to use the VGo, named WeeGeaux, to visit his classroom, teachers, friends, book fair and art show at his school. Jacob mentioned that WeeGeaux was “the coolest and biggest robot toy ever!” Having this robot does more than just provide a fun activity for our patients. WeeGeaux allows the patient to mentally escape from their hospital bed. Jacob shared that he felt like he was at school hanging out with his friends and even felt like he was shopping at his school’s book fair.
“Sometimes after Jacob is in the hospital for a few weeks, it’s hard to keep his spirits up,” said Katie Aucoin, Jacob’s mother. “He was so excited to visit his class at school with the WeeGeaux robot. Reconnecting with them was just what he needed.”

Brandon Meyer, IS team member at Our Lady of the Lake, helped walk Jacob through his WeeGeaux experience. “It just struck me all of the sudden that Jacob wasn’t in the hospital for two hours,” he said. “He (in his mind) was at school with his friends, teachers and brother. That’s so powerful.”

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