The Gift of Time: Families Donate CuddleCot™ to Sullivan County Community Hospital
(Sullivan, IN) July 18, 2019: For parents of stillborn babies, the grieving process can be long and difficult. Thanks to a generous donation from the Kemmerling Family of Bloomington, IN, and Autumn Allor of Bloomfield, IN, the maternity department at Sullivan County Community Hospital now has a CuddleCot™ to help provide additional comfort to grieving parents. He Knows Your Name ministry, a non-profit organization in Indianapolis, assisted with the donation.
A CuddleCot™ allows a family to spend time with a baby who is stillborn or dies shortly after birth. The CuddleCot™ technology keeps the baby cool in a crib or bassinet and allows the baby to remain with the family in the room for as long as the family needs, allowing for photographs, baptism, or simply more time. Michelle Kemmerling delivered her son, Samuel David, August 14, 2009. He was born sleeping (stillborn).
“I have always wanted to be able to help others who have suffered the loss of a child, but never knew how, until I learned about the CuddleCot™. All I wanted when Sam was delivered was TIME with him, and now, thanks to the CuddleCot™ families will be able to receive the unimaginable, time with their stillborn child,” Michelle said.
Autumn Allor also lost a child, and personally experienced the value of a CuddleCot™ while in the hospital. Her donation is in memory of her grandmother, Carole Anne Botkin.
“In an impossible situation when all control is gone, when all time stands still, families need to be given the control back and options made available to them–to be able to take the time they need to feel a sense of closure and peace before leaving the hospital without being able to take their child home,” Allor said. “My grandmother Carole was extremely supportive of my advocacy and was instrumental in providing the funds for this donation.”
Each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the U.S., according to the March of Dimes organization. Approximately one in 100 pregnancies result in this tragic and devastating outcome.
“The state of Indiana has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. It is said, that a child dies every 13 hours in our state. That is devastating. I believe we must provide loving care for families of pregnancy and infant loss in our area hospitals,” said Linda Znachko, founder of He Knows Your Name ministry.
Each CuddleCot™ system costs approximately $3,000 with assistance from He Knows Your Name ministry. For more information on the Cuddle Cot, go to https://heknowsyourname.org/.
Left to right: Linda Znachko, Autumn Allor, Michelle Kemmerling and SCCH CEO, Michelle Franklin.