How a couple turned their devastating grief into an amazing gift

A GIFT FROM THE HEART: Hayden and Jessica Crawford raised enough money to purchse three cuddle cots, one of which was donated to Lithgow Hospital.
A GIFT FROM THE HEART: Hayden and Jessica Crawford raised enough money to purchse three cuddle cots, one of which was donated to Lithgow Hospital.

It is a difficult issue to talk about and a heart-breaking one for parents who experience the loss, but a new donation to Lithgow Hospital from an Orange couple is allowing families to spend more time with the babies they have lost. 

A special refrigerated cot, known as a ‘cuddle cot’, has been donated to the hospital by Jessica and Hayden Crawford and their families after an overwhelming response to their fundraising efforts.

Cuddle cots enable parents who have suffered the loss of a baby more time to say goodbye to their child, who can stay with them in the refrigerated cot for a number of days.

The Crawfords lost their baby girl, Lilly Rae, at 22 weeks in November and were able to spend three precious days with her, making memories and saying goodbye thanks to the availability of a cuddle cot at Orange hospital.

The couple decided to fundraise through to Emerikus Land Foundation to purchase a cuddle cot, valued at $6000, to gift to a hospital.

Their efforts were so well supported they raised enough money to purchase three cuddle cots.

Lithgow Hospital is the grateful recipient of one of these cots.

We are so grateful to receive this piece of equipment which will allow families to spend more time with their angel babies.

Lithgow Hospital’s clinical midwifery educator Debbie Gaynor

Lithgow Hospital’s clinical midwifery educator Debbie Gaynor said the donation was very welcome.

“We are so grateful to receive this piece of equipment which will allow families to spend more time with their angel babies,” she said.

There are more than 2,000 Australian families each year that suffer the loss of a stillborn baby, equating to six stillborn babies every day.

According to Victoria Bowring, general manager of Stillbirth Foundation Australia, the best ways to help parents cope with a stillbirth are:

  • Acknowledge parents’ loss: Avoiding the topic can magnify the trauma.
  • Offer ongoing support to parents: It’s often when parents arrive home without their baby that the reality hits.
  • Raise public awareness: Women and their partners should also be equipped with knowledge about how to reduce their risk of having a stillborn child.
  • Investigate each stillbirth: A critical analysis of every baby’s death can identify contributing factors to help explain the event and prevent future deaths.