Grieving parents bring ‘CuddleCot’ to CK

Parents of stillborn babies in Chatham-Kent can now spend more time with their children as a local couple turns their devastating loss into an opportunity to give back.

A new CuddleCot recently arrived at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. The device is used in hospital maternity wards to help cool the body of a stillborn baby, saving it for a day or two and giving grieving parents more time to say goodbye.

In 2020, Chatham residents Andrew and Jennifer Foster launched a community-led fundraiser to buy CuddleCot to mark the first anniversary of the death of their daughter, Claire Rebekah Rose.

During Jennifer’s 38-week check-up, the couple received devastating news from doctors that he couldn’t find a heartbeat. After giving birth in November 2019, it was determined that Claire had a blood clot in her umbilical cord.

Claire, Jennifer and Andrew Foster. (Photo via GoFundMe)

While in hospital, the couple learned about CuddleCot. To help distract them from the loss, the Fosters began looking into further research into the device. During that time, they learned that the CuddleCot was not a routine tool in the hospital and that donations were often required. The two decide to start a fundraiser for Claire.

“It’s been a long road for Jennifer and I to make sure other local families who have been through this tragedy have time to say goodbye to their little angels,” Andrew said. “Losing a baby is a heartbreaking nightmare, but being able to say goodbye properly can start the recovery process and the new CuddleCot will be a huge help to many grieving parents.”

CuddleCot sells for about $6,000.

According to CKHA officials, the event was greatly supported by Steve and Kate Peach and the Peach Physiotherapy and Wellness Center team.

“Each year our clinic chooses a local organization or program to support, and every time a new patient assessment or treatment plan is successfully completed, we donate to our fundraising goals,” explains Kate. “Collectively and immediately, our team knew this was a cause we needed to support when we learned that a local bereaved family was raising funds to honor their stillborn baby girl and support future families with similar tragic losses. Choose to help bring CuddleCot to Chatham Kent so families can use it when they need it.”

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