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Couple brings cuddle cots to Revelstoke hospital

A Revelstoke couple is turning grief into impact by donating a CuddleCot to Queen Victoria Hospital.
Unveiling of CuddleCot, Queen Victoria Hospital, Steven Hui

Holding a newborn you will have a lifetime to get to know is a joy many parents experience, but for one Revelstoke couple, that joy was quickly taken away. 

Turning their grief into impact, they are on a mission to honour their little girl's life by helping other families hold on a little while longer. On July, 24, 2023, Nora Magnolia Anley was born stillborn to parents Kaitlin McNeish and Sean Anley.

While McNeish was amazed at how compassionate the hospital staff were as nurses prepared tiny casts of her feet and took pictures of her baby, McNeish later learned that she could have had a little more time to take in her little girl and to say goodbye. 

After finding online support online from B.C. organization, Butterfly Run, McNeish learned about a device called the CuddleCot, which is manufactured in the U.K. These special devices bring a body's temperature down to a cooler level which helps with preservation. 

She learned that other folks had access to these devices in Canadian hospitals, and that this was made possible through fundraising and donations. For McNeish, having a few more days would have made a world of difference. She was on heavy pain medication and her time was limited, McNeish's time was rushed despite the hospital's best efforts. 

"We had incredible support from the hospital staff and they did everything they could do to give us as much time as possible to make some of the memories that you want to have with your child...but ultimately it was a pretty limited scope."

A CuddleCot would have given McNeish and Anley time to give Nora a bath, dress her in her going home outfit, and allow family members outside of Revelstoke to make it in time to say goodbye as well.

In honour of Nora, McNeish organized a fundraiser so other families in Revelstoke will have more time should they find themselves in their situation. The fundraiser was so successful that not only was a CuddleCot purchased for Revelstoke, but the fundraiser was kept open so an additional CuddleCot can be purchased for another hospital in the B.C. Interior. 

The CuddleCot for the Queen Victoria Hospital was unveiled in a special ceremony on June, 24. Steven Hui, president of the Queen Victoria Hospital Health Foundation was present at the ceremony, and expressed his gratitude towards McNeish and Anley for their fundraising efforts. He also explained that approximately one in 160 pregnancies result in stillbirth. 

McNeish's GoFundMe page can be viewed here. 

About the Author: Lauren McNeil

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