SPECIAL GIFT Pictured at the presentation of a CuddleCot and Moses Basket to Mayo University Hospital are the Reilly family, who raised funds for this equipment which enables families to spend precious time with their deceased babies. Front, from left: Elsa and Caolan Reilly. Back, from left: Mary Sammon, Clinical Midwife, Manager 2; Sanchia and Seán Reilly, Diane Brady, Clinical Midwife Labour Ward, and Claire Larkin, Midwife. Pic: Ken Wright Photography
PARENTS Sanchia and Seán Reilly are giving back to other grieving parents by donating a second CuddleCot to Mayo University Hospital.
The couple welcomed their already sleeping baby Noah into the world on November 6, 2016. Thanks to the CuddleCot, a small, light, specially designed cooling pad for use with deceased babies in any moses basket, crib, pram or bed, Sanchia and Seán could bring their baby home to say goodbye. The system allowed the couple to introduce their children Caolan and Elsa to their baby brother in the comforting surrounds of their own home.
Describing the time as ‘heartbreaking’, Noah’s parents say the CuddleCot allowed them to spend ‘treasured time together’.
“It allowed our family and friends a chance to meet our beautiful boy and, most importantly, it allowed us as a family spend treasured time together, making memories that we will hold on to forever.”
The couple say this would not have been possible without the support of Féileacáin, a new not-for-profit organisation formed by bereaved parents. Féileacáin aims to provide support to anyone affected by the death of a baby, either during pregnancy or shortly after.
Through fundraising, Féileacáin has supplied as many hospitals as possible with the much-needed CuddleCot. The organisation will also call to a home with the CuddleCot system and set it up.
Manufacturers of the CuddleCot state: “Dealing with the death of a baby is clearly an incredibly difficult event for parents and bereaved parents should be given the option of spending time with their baby.
“Providing families time through the use of the CuddleCot is internationally encouraged by midwives, bereavement practitioners, still birth/neonatal charities, and academics. Time allows the family to form an important bond with their baby; whether changing a nappy, dressing the baby, taking photographs or simply just staying close, and this unquestionably helps families in dealing with their loss.”
Sanchia and Seán thanked Mary Sammon at MUH for the use of a CuddleCot, which allowed the family such invaluable time with Noah.
“They also provided a Memory Box, and that is where we have our most valuable memories of Noah.”
Speaking of their decision to fundraise in order to donate a second CuddleCot, the couple said: “We hope to give back the love we received from all the staff through gifting them this much-needed resource and we want to carry Noah’s legacy on every time a CuddleCot may need to be used.”