DENVER — Helen and Michael Raleigh are still grieving. The Colorado couple lost their son, Lucas, due to medical complications during delivery last year.
“I went into emergency C-section surgery. I didn’t know we lost Lucas until the next day morning when I woke up,” Helen said. “We didn’t have the gift of time with Lucas. I would do anything if I could hold him again.”
The couple organized a memorial walk and partnered with the local charity Walk With Me to raise money for something called a Cuddle Cot. A cuddle cot is a cooling unit that connects to a pad in the stillborn baby’s bassinet.
Wednesday, the couple and the charity donated a Cuddle Cot to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, which is not the hospital where they delivered.
“This is a very simple way for families to get as much time as they want with their babies in their room, preventing the natural changes that happen after a baby has passed away, which is just horrible and heartbreaking for a family to have to watch. And that’s amazing for healing for our families,” said Kelley Kuhn with Walk With Me, a local non-profit that serves families who suffered the loss of an infant.
Cuddle Cots are fairly new in the U.S., but they are becoming more common. There are now Cuddle Cots in about 20 Colorado hospitals, but Walk With Me wants to get one donated to every hospital in the state.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 24,000 babies are stillborn each year in the U.S.
For more information about risk and prevention, visit the Star Legacy Foundation’s website.