WHEN a child is stillborn or dies after birth, it leaves a terrible void in that family’s lives. This is not helped by an often noisy, busy, and rushed hospital environment, which leaves little time or opportunity to grieve and come to terms with the profound loss. The body is sometimes also taken straight to a hospital morgue, which further adds to parents’ distress and despair.
However, CuddleCots, when available, enable grieving parents to spend some time with their babies. These are small Moses type baskets with a cooling base, which slows down natural body changes after death. This allows grieving families the opportunity to spend some extra private time with their child, sometimes away from the hospital, to say goodbye in a more peaceful environment.
The NHS Surrey Child Death Review Team, which comprises 4 registered nurses who support families in Surrey following a child’s death, felt CuddleCots would be of great benefit to future bereaved parents, so should be made available if funding could be secured.
Surrey Freemasons, therefore, stepped-in and raised the full £4,000 needed to purchase 2 CuddleCots, which were delivered last week by Trevor Rains (Surrey Freemasons Exec Team) and Simon Crust (Charity Team). They were informally presented, in an outdoor NHS Leatherhead carpark, to Nicola Eschbaecher and Suzanne Huddy, both members of the NHS Surrey Child Death Review Team.
Afterwards, Trevor Rains promised to continue raising funds to enable a 3rd CuddleCot to also be purchased to fulfil the Surrey Child Death Review Team’s need for 3 cots in total.
Nicola Eschbaecher, Named Nurse in the NHS Surrey Child Death Review Team, said:
“The death of a baby or child is a devastating loss which profoundly affects bereaved parents, as well as siblings, grandparents, extended family, friends, and even professionals who were involved in caring for the child.
“It is a tragedy that never heals as families try to rebuild their lives around the pain.
“Thanks to Surrey Freemasons, this is something which will have a lasting impact on the grieving process, as well as on bereaved families own long-term mental health.
By facilitating a controlled, calm goodbye in comfortable surroundings, parents and family members will now be able to say a more peaceful goodbye, a memory they will be able to remember for the rest of their lives.”