Manchester Memorial Hospital (MMH) has been donated its first cuddle cot by Amberly Pace, a Registered Nurse at the hospital.
The moving presentation was carried out in the hospital lobby, in the presence of hospital employees and the community. Chaplain Mark Bondarenko did a devotion, followed by moving speeches from Amberly and Erika Skula, CEO of MMH.
Amberly independently founded the Kentucky Cuddle Cot Campaign in honor of her daughter, Emma Caroline Pace, who was born at rest on September 2, 2014. “Emma was taken from my husband and me almost immediately,” said Amberly. “All we wanted was more time, and the feelings I had in having to part so quickly … I didn’t want anyone to have to experience what I did that day.”
A Cuddle Cot is a piece of medical equipment that acts like a refrigerated bassinet, which gives families who suffer the loss of a newborn more time to spend with their angels, thus facilitating the grieving process. This cooling system allows for babies who have passed away to stay with their families instead of being cooled in a mortuary environment. Hence, a cuddle cot gives families the choice of spending as much time as they would like with their baby without being fearful of the need to cool the baby in a traditional mortuary to prevent decomposition.
“We are finding that parents are wanting to keep the baby in the room longer with them and are embracing the experience they have to spend time with the baby,” said Kristina Burchfield, team manager of the OB Unit at the hospital. “The Cuddle Cot is a nice resource to be able to present to parents to help preserve the baby a little longer.”
This campaign will fund the purchase of Cuddle Cots to be placed in local hospitals around Southeast Kentucky, the first of which is MMH. The Cuddle Cot at MMH is only the third one in the state of Kentucky, and will serve as a loaner to surrounding hospitals until they have their own permanent unit.
To learn more about the Kentucky Cuddle Cot campaign, you can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kycuddlecotcampaign, and to support their efforts you can donate at www.gofundme.com/kycuddlecot.