Time is an irreplaceable gift for parents who have just lost a child.
For Emma Shaw, giving the gift of time to grieving families who have had a stillborn baby was high on her priority list, and she has delivered on her goal with a Cuddle Cot worth $4,000 purchased for Nambour Hospital’s Maternity Ward.
As a volunteer Heartfelt photographer, Emma captures photographic memories for families that have experienced stillbirths, premature births, or have children with serious and terminal illnesses. She has seen the heartache parents go through after losing a baby and understands it better than most having gone through it herself.
Emma was inspired to fundraise for a Cuddle Cot after seeing how it helped a grieving family say goodbye to their stillborn baby at one of her photo sessions in another hospital.
“Dealing with the death of a baby is an incredibly difficult time for parents, and for many, spending some precious time with their gorgeous bub is priceless,” Emma said. “After seeing firsthand the amazing benefits of having a Cuddle Cot available to these parents, I knew I would love nothing more than to supply one to Nambour Hospital to help more families cherish those moments in time that are just irreplaceable.
“It’s about giving parents and babies the most time they will ever have together.”
Cuddle cots have a specialised cooling system which reduces the core temperature of a baby, allowing the parents to spend time with their stillborn child before saying goodbye.
Emma began fundraising for the Cuddle Cot a few weeks ago, and she says the response was overwhelming. The Jake Garrett Foundation – set up in honour of a Mary Valley boy who died after a ride-on mower accident in 2012 – came on board with a $2,000 donation while the Goomboorian Playalong Activity Centre gave $1000 towards the Cuddle Cot. The final $1,000 was a gift from Krystle Jeffries, a new mum who only recently lost her baby.
The cot was purchased through the Emerikus Land Foundation who are trying to get a Cuddle Cot into every hospital in Australia, after founder Sherri-Leigh Land’s experience of not having much time with her stillborn.
Maternity Nurse Unit Manager Cheryl Rutherford said the Cuddle Cot is a “most welcome donation” and will help many local families deal with the loss of their child in the long term.