Section: Monmouth Medical Center News

Tinton Falls Family Donates Special Machine Designed to Allow Grieving Parents Extra Time with Stillborn Babies


Cuddle Cot

Jennifer and Matt Levi are shown here with the Cuddle Cot cooling system they donated to Monmouth Medical Center. Also pictured are, from left, Suzanne Spernal, APN-BC, MSN, RNC-OB, CBC, clinical director of Obstetric Services at Monmouth, and Sheryl Dwyer, BSN, RNC-OB, the bereavement support nurse for Labor and Delivery.

Long Branch, NJ, September 22, 2017 – For parents, parting with a stillborn baby is the first step in a long and difficult grieving process.

Thanks to the generosity of a Tinton Falls couple who suffered the loss of two newborns in six months, that journey has been made a bit easier for parents coping with a stillborn.

Jennifer and Matt Levi donated a Cuddle Cot, a special machine designed to allow grieving parents to spend extra time with their baby, to Monmouth Medical Center in honor of their daughter Helen Rose, who was delivered at 16 weeks gestation at Monmouth in April. The cooling device preserves a stillborn baby’s body in a bassinet or crib, extending the time a family has to hold and photograph the infant and for loved ones to visit with the baby.

About 24,000 babies are delivered stillborn in the United States every year. When not kept cold, stillborn babies’ bodies quickly begin to deteriorate after delivery.

Cuddle Cot, which was developed in the United Kingdom and brought to the United States in 2013, has been recognized as significantly helping parents who suffer the loss of a baby by giving grieving parents the option of spending time with their baby. Time is internationally encouraged by midwives, bereavement practitioners, stillbirth/neonatal charities and academics, as it allows the family to form an important bond with their baby.

“By donating this Cuddle Cot to Monmouth Medical Center in honor of Helen Rose, we hope that it will ease the pain of families grieving the loss of a baby,” said Jennifer, who also had a full term stillborn son, Connor, in October at another area hospital. “This unit will give parents the gift of time in the best way possible before having to give their babies that last hug and kiss goodbye.”

The Cuddle Cot comes in a cobalt blue chest containing a cooling unit with a hose that attaches to a mat underneath the baby. On top of the chest holding Monmouth’s unit is a silver plaque, noting that the gift is in memory of Helen Rose Levi in association with SOBBS: Stories of Babies Born Still. The plaque also is engraved with a quote: “There is no footprint so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.”

After the loss of their son, the Levi’s decided to raise money to purchase a Cuddle Cot unit, and within a week, had raised more than $10,000. In addition to Monmouth, they have donated Cuddle Cot units, which are valued at about $3,000, to two other area hospitals.

At a dedication ceremony for the unit, Sheryl Dwyer, BSN, RNC-OB, the bereavement support nurse for Labor and Delivery at Monmouth Medical Center, thanked the Levis’ for their generosity and for their strength and resiliency, noting that their gift will absolutely help future grieving parents and families.

About Monmouth Medical Center
Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, along with The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey's largest academic medical centers. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. Monmouth Medical Center is the only hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties to consistently receive an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization of employer purchasers of health care and the nation’s leading experts on patient safety. It is one of eight New Jersey hospitals to receive a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the highest hospital rating in the state.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Brennan

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