Actress Zoe Saldana is hoping to provide comfort to parents of premature babies by teaming up with organizers at Brave Beginnings to ensure hospitals have the necessary equipment to help the infants survive.
The Guardians of the Galaxy star was inspired to get involved with the nonprofit organization after giving birth to twins, Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio in November (14). Both babies spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit.
"When I was in the neonatal intensive care unit with my two sons, I became like every parent that was on that floor," she tells People.com. "My husband and I were at the mercy of our nurses and doctors. Our children's lives depended on their every move."
She adds, "I went through it. I was there. I was a parent and my children were the ones that benefited from having excellent services from the hospital. And I want that for every parent. I want that for every child."
Organizers at Brave Beginnings have committed over $1 million in grants to hospitals in 2015 to provide equipment to help babies born prematurely perform basic functions, including breathing and eating.
"When children are born prematurely, they don't just need to be held, they need assistance breathing, feeding and going to the bathroom," Saldana continues. "They also need incubators to protect them while they're forming immune systems.
"This equipment can mean the difference between life and death for a child, that's just the truth. If a child can't breathe and doesn't have the equipment to help him breathe we can't help him with our own hands."