I returned to the hospital the next morning in a complete blur. Somehow I managed to deliver my sweet baby girl and it was obvious upon delivery that the reason her heart had stopped beating was due to the cord being tightly wrapped around her ankle. She was so beautiful and reminded me so much of her big brother Sam. My husband and I spent a few hours with her and then it was time to say goodbye. Leaving the hospital with empty arms was the absolute worst feeling I have ever experienced.
The past few months have been excruciating at times but we have also found inspiration and hope in connecting with other families who have honoured their baby's memory through various charitable causes. We want Anna's legacy to be one that gives meaning and support to families experiencing a loss by extending the amount of time they are able to spend with their baby before the final goodbye.
A CuddleCot is a machine that pumps cold water through a pad lining in a bassinet keeping a baby cool and slowing changes that occurs after death. A CuddleCot provides the precious gift of time. For up to three days, families are given the sacred space to say hello and good-bye. By holding the baby it solidifies the experience and helps in the grieving process. It further provides the time to create precious memories through picture taking and the opportunity to wrap a whole future of what should have been into a time warp of a few days. For mothers who have a C section the additional time becomes critical as it provides the opportunity to recover from the medication, to accept what has happened and to be fully present to hold their baby.
Many hospitals across Ontario are currently in receipt of a CuddleCot or are actively fundraising. The average cost of a CuddleCot is $7000.
As a bereaved family we are looking for a way to give back to South Lake Regional Health Center, help other families and do something to honour the memory of our precious little girl Anna Khouri. Our goal is to purchase and donate the first CuddleCot in her memory in time for her first birthday, May 24, 2019.
**UPDATE** We have exceeded our initial campaign goal! We will be exploring the need for multiple Cuddle Cots at South Lake and potentially expanding our campaign to additional hospitals so that we can help as many families as possible. Thank you to everyone for being part of something so meaningful <3
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