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Zachary Skin to Skin with parents

“Nothing healed my soul, body, and mind than being connected by touch with Zach.”
- Yamile

Our touch turned struggle into possibilities.

When Larry and I welcomed our son Zachary, life changed. I felt impotent every night that I had to leave the hospital.  A nurse told me that NICU babies may grow with an aversion to touch and I could not imagine providing Zach a life without enjoying human touch. I touched and held Zachary as much as I could to teach him that not all touch was followed by pain. 

Zach weighed a bit over 2 pounds when Tropical Storm Allison hit Houston, TX leaving the hospital and life-support equipment powerless. We helped keep Zach alive “by touch” for 9 hours until he was evacuated to another hospital. i held him skin to skin and Larry received a crash course on bagging. he and the nurses took turns giving him breaths.  In those dark hours i promised Zachary that his pain and struggle to survive were not going to be in vain and we are still true to that promise.

Zachary was also in the NICU during the September 11 attacks and now he graduated from high school during a pandemic.  He is now in college and is unstoppable!

I applied my 4 engineering degrees and my newly found maternal instinct to allow us to be together even when we weren't.  The staff used the first version of The Zaky HUG as a tool to provide neuroprotection care when I was not holding him skin to skin and we left our scent.  Against all odds, Zach survived and thrived and now is a college student. We also grew our bond and attachment for a lifetime. 

Kangaroo Care saved Zachary's life and it changed mine. I slept with Zachary during Kangaroo Care and what it meant to me made me design The Zaky ZAK.  Three years of engineering design ensure that, when used according to our instructions, The Zaky ZAK will keep the baby safe in the event that the parent falls asleep. By providing safety, comfort, and quiet and easy access at all times for breastfeeding and interventions, then the kangaroo care sessions are prolonged during Delivery, C-Section, Post Partum, NICU, PICU, etc.

Research proves our intuition right. Touch changes everything: from a newborn’s brain to an adult’s heart.

I started Nurtured by Design, on behalf of Zachary, to apply ergonomics, technology, safety, and risk management to research and develop devices that empower babies and parents to thrive like we did.

I invite you to unwrap what our journey made possible: The Zaky system for 24/7 loving and transforming touch and sensorial experiences based on clinical evidence and a great dose of Parent/Child intervention for the best possible neuroprotective care. 

The story of our brand is the story of our family. I invite you to be part of it. 
-- Yamile

Yamile Jackson, PhD, PE, PMP
Zachary's mom
CEO, Nurtured by Design
PhD Ergonomics and Safety Engineering
Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas
Certified Project Management Professional
Certified Trauma Informed Professional
Certified Professional Kangaroo Caregiver


CBS made a documentary of Zachary's story of survival of the dark day that gave reason for Nurtured by Design.

TNT made a movie i spired on the evacuation and Zach’s story of survival called "14:Hours".
Zachary is "baby Jeremy" in the movie, I am "Amelia", and my husband Larry is "Gary"