youcaring

Now that Your Beaver County has grown into a thing that people recognize and talk about, I get emails just about every day asking me to write about different causes and non-profits. To be honest, most of them simple get lost in the shuffle because there are so many of them…but something about this one caught my attention:

My name is Stacy Preston and I live in Beaver Falls, PA. In October 2012, our first child was stillborn at Heritage Valley Medical Center in Beaver, PA. We were only afforded approximately an hour with our son before having to say goodbye forever. I am trying to raise enough money through donations and fundraising to gift that hospital with a Cuddle Cot.

You must be wondering what a Cuddle Cot is. A Cuddle Cot is first and foremost a gift of time. It allows parents time to make memories that they will never get back. It allows time to cloth a child, bath a child, take pictures, take mold prints of hands and feet, invite family and friends to visit, time to bond, time to cry and most of all the only time they will ever get with their child. Once we leave the hospital, there are no more kisses or physical connections. Only the few memories we were able to make.

Please, read my Youcaring that I set up for more information. I beg you to help us spread our story. No parent should have to go through what we did, but when the inevitable happens, don’t they deserve every possible second?

https://www.youcaring.com/heritage-valley-medical-center-660417

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

That was one of the most powerful requests I have ever received, so I took a few minutes to go read the Youcaring page she mentions. It is nothing short of heartbreaking.

I had big plans to tell Stacy’s story in my own words, but I don’t think I could have ever done it justice….so here are her words:

Imagine giving birth to a perfect little baby. The time you get to spend with them is very limited – whether it be mere minutes, hours, or a couple of days at the most – once you let go, you have to say goodbye. There are no birthday parties, no hugs or kisses, no first dates, broken bones or even tantrums. Everything you’ve dreamed of ripped away with five short words, “I’m sorry. There’s no heartbeat.”


Now imagine you had the ability to help give those parents more time with their baby.


Stillbirth effects about 1% of all pregnancies, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States. That is about the same number of babies that die during the first year of life and it is more than 10 times as many deaths as the number that occur from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Chances are, you know somebody in that 1%. Perhaps even you.


I am that 1%


My husband and I were anxiously awaiting the birth of our first child, a son we chose to name Titus. Everything was in place and we just needed to meet our bundle of joy. At 36 weeks exactly, a Wednesday morning, my water broke at work while getting ready to go to a meeting. We were so excited thinking this was the moment we were waiting for! Once my OB confirmed that our son was breech, we were on our way to the hospital for a c-section. They began hooking me up to the monitors when we heard those heart wrenching five words.


“I’m sorry. There’s no heartbeat.”


We were afforded approximately an hour with our son before having to say goodbye.


Still reading? Good, because this is where you come in! October 3 is our son’s fourth birthday. We would love nothing more than to be able to raise enough money to buy a Cuddle Cot for the Heritage Valley Medical Center, where we said hello and goodbye to our baby boy.


You must be wondering what a Cuddle Cot is. A Cuddle Cot is first and foremost a gift of time. It allows parents time to make memories that they will never get back. It allows time to cloth a child, bath a child, take pictures, take mold prints of hands and feet, invite family and friends to visit, time to bond, time to cry and most of all the only time they will ever get with their child. Once we leave the hospital, there are no more kisses or physical connections. Only the few memories we were able to make.


The problem is that in a warm room the baby’s condition can deteriorate quickly, therefore cooling the baby is absolutely essential. Transferring to and from the morgue is now widely regarded as an outdated practice as it is traumatic for parents to repeatedly go through the separation process whereas the Cuddle Cot allows the family to spend every moment with their baby, precious moments where every minute counts. The Cuddle Cot is a medical cooling system disguised within a moses basket that delays changes to a stillborn child. The cooling unit has small hoses and a cooling pad that are hidden inside the sheets of the bassinet, allowing a serene setting for parents.


Currently there are only 121 Cuddle Cots in the United States. And 24,000 stillborns a year in the U.S. You don’t need to excel in math to know those numbers don’t add up. Help us help others at their weakest moments. Give them the times to take those photos and get a lifetime of hugs and kisses crammed into a few short days. The cost is roughly $3800, that includes the moses basket and sheets. So please, donate what you can. No amount is too small. If you are unable to donate, I implore you, share this with your friends and family. Help us meet our goals. Not only in honor of our son, our Titus, but for all babies born silently into the world.

Those words are so heart-wrenching that it is actually difficult to make it through them.

I’ve said quite a few times before now that I prefer to support and promote charities that are doing things to help real people right here in Beaver County. Having a Cuddle Cot available to families that have to endure this type of hell certainly fits that mold.

Let’s all chip in and help out this amazing cause.

Andrew is a professional freelance writer and lifelong resident of Beaver County. He created Your Beaver County to promote and showcase all of the positive aspects of our incredible local culture! You can find more of Andrew’s professional information at Brooklyn Content, or you can also follow him on his personal twitter account, @theAndrewSelby.