Fundraising organized by six local moms has resulted in a $13,000 cheque being presented to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation (FVHCF) for the purchase of five “CuddleCots.”
The cot is for babies who are stillborn or die after their birth. The system cools the baby so that he or she can remain in the room with his or her family, allowing them the time in the bereavement process to bond and say goodbye.
The system is widely accepted and has been used in maternity departments and children’s hospices worldwide, including in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, according to the CuddleCot website.
The fundraiser was started by local mom Annet Janssen, whose second daughter and seventh baby was stillborn in May 2014 at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH).
Janssen and her husband was aware of the cooling cots and asked for one to give their family – including the baby’s siblings – time to say goodbye, but were surprised when the hospital had never heard of the system.
“You want to look at your baby, take in every feature, memorize your baby, take photos while he/she still looks good, as that’s all you will every have,” Janssen said.
She and two friends started a Facebook page in July 2014 and were joined by three other moms, with the goal of providing a CuddleCot to each of the eight hospitals in the Lower Mainland.
Throughout the last year, they have raised the money through bidding from online auctions, as well as online donations.
The $13,000 cheque, donated on June 18, will go toward the purchase of five of the cots. A sixth cot was donated by a family who lost a baby through stillbirth several years ago.
The fundraising continues, and details can be found on the Facebook page “Help Bring a Cuddle Cot to ARH.”