Reporting Amelia Santaniello
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The familiar crisp white shirt and skinny black tie uniforms of the Geek Squad are making a presence and leaving an impact on the patients and families at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
“Our mission here is to help the patients and their family with all their technology needs,” said Geek Squad Special Agent James Shoemaker. “They have better things to do than play around with technology.”
Since 2009, the agents at the Geek Squad Precinct located inside the walls of Children’s, have been able to provide much-needed laptops, digital cameras and technical support, free of charge.
“Families come here with a lot on their mind other than their technology needs,” said Shoemaker. “But they quickly need to have things taken care of either here or at home or staying in touch with their families and friends so we just provide that support to them.”
One of those families in need of technology help were Ryan and Kelly McManimon, the parents of 3-week-old Charlotte. When she was just days old, doctors discovered some serious heart defects that required Charlotte to be rushed to Children’s for heart surgery.
But a day before learning about Charlotte’s heart, the McManimons’ new laptop crashed, making it difficult for them to stay connected to work and to keep family and friends updated on Charlotte’s condition.
“We’ve been using our CaringBridge site and the only way we can check that is by having a laptop,” said Ryan McManimon.
That’s when the Geek Squad stepped in.
“They were able to loan us a laptop and we’ve had it ever since we got here,” said Ryan.
“This great comfort to them that we can come in and take of it for them and it’s very rewarding for us,” said Shoemaker.
Two weeks since her surgery, Charlotte is doing wonderful, leaps and bounds from where she was days ago. That’s an update family and friends were able to find out, thanks to the Geek Squad.
“It’s been a lifesaver really, because there’s just way too many phone calls to return and being able to have that laptop readily available has been huge,” said Kelly McManimon.
For their work at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, the Geek Squad recently received the Innovation of the Year Award in Patient Care from the Minnesota Hospital Association.
“It’s really nice to get recognized for what you do,” said Shoemaker.
But the peace of mind they’ve give to families like the McManimons has already made their job rewarding.