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