Thanks to a community-led fundraising initiative, a new Cuddle Cot has arrived and has been having a significant impact on the Women & Children’s Program at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA).
The community fundraiser was started by Chatham residents Andrew and Jennifer Foster, with the goal of raising funds for Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation (CKHAF) to purchase the new Cuddle Cot for CKHA. The campaign received strong support from Peach Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre, enabling the purchase of this impactful piece of equipment.
With the arrival of this new Cuddle Cot, the grieving parents of stillborn infants are provided with the benefit of more time with their child. The Cuddle Cot is a cooling system that is designed to fit within any Moses basket or bassinette, preserving the child’s body longer and allowing the family to spend precious time with their baby.
For Steve and Kate Peach and the team at Peach Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre, this was a cause that resonated deeply, motivating them to choose the Cuddle Cot for the clinic’s Higher Purpose Initiative.
“Supporting the Chatham-Kent community is one of our core values,” noted Kate Peach, Physiotherapist at Peach Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre. “Each year our clinic chooses a local organization or program to support, and every time a new patient assessment or treatment plan is successfully completed, we contribute a monetary amount towards our fundraising goal. When we learned that a bereaved local family was fundraising to honour their stillborn baby girl and to support families experiencing a similarly tragic loss in the future, collectively, and immediately, our team knew that this was the cause that we needed to support. We chose to help bring a Cuddle Cot to Chatham-Kent so that families have access, should they ever need it.”
Thanks to this community-led initiative and the support of Peach Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre, the Cuddle Cot has provided comfort to local families grieving the loss of a stillborn child. It does this by cooling the child’s body and preserving it for much longer than would otherwise be possible. This time allows parents to form an important bond with their babies, helping them to deal with their tragic loss.
For Andrew and Jennifer Foster, the Cuddle Cot’s impact on local families represents the fulfillment of the goal that they set when they initiated this campaign following the loss of their own daughter, Claire Rebekah Rose.
“It has been a long road for Jennifer and I to ensure that other local families who go through this kind of tragedy will have the time they need to say goodbye to their little angels,” said Andrew Foster. “Baby loss is a heart-stopping nightmare, but being able to say goodbye properly can start the healing process, and the new Cuddle Cot will be so helpful to many grieving parents.”
As the link between the community and its hospital, CKHAF was delighted to have the opportunity to support this community fundraising initiative and to facilitate the purchase of this important piece of equipment for the Women & Children’s Program at CKHA.
“As a Foundation, we are always so thrilled to see these types of community-led fundraisers have success and make a real impact in our hospital,” said Mary Lou Crowley, CKHAF President & CEO. “We are deeply thankful to Steve and Kate Peach and the amazing team at Peach Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre for their investment, and to the Foster family who turned their tragic loss into an opportunity to help local families going through similar tragic experiences.”
Thanks to the generosity and philanthropic spirit of our community, grieving parents at CKHA are now able to spend precious time with their baby when every moment is deeply meaningful.
“We are proud to play a small role in supporting Chatham-Kent families when they need it most,” stated Kate Peach. “Our heartfelt thoughts go out to each family experiencing any kind of loss, and it is our sincerest hope that this new Cuddle Cot can bring families just a little more time together before saying goodbye.”
For more information, contact the Foundation office at 519.436.2538.
Andrew DeBoer, Marketing & Communications Officer
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation