A Canberra family has donated a Cuddle Cot to Calvary Hospital, in the hopes that other families will be able to “create memories, say hello and goodbye to their child”.
Tim and Erin Leonard have raised money to be able to donate the cot, after they lost their son Ryder in 2016.
“After three gruelling hours I gave birth to our baby boy, weighing just 600g, he wasn’t strong enough to survive,” Erin says.
“I only got to hold him for a few minutes before I was rushed off for surgery. Tim … held him close to his heart for the next 90 minutes until he took his last breath.
“The next few days were heartbreaking; we cuddled Ryder for a few hours at a time before the nurses had to take him away.”
A Cuddle Cot is a cooling system that fits into a small cot, allowing babies that have passed away to remain with their families for longer periods of time, instead of having to return to a cooling room.
Tim and Erin fundraised through Bears of Hope, a pregnancy and infant loss support group, to raise the funds for the cot.
“We registered with Bears of Hope Foundation who have helped us since the day we lost Ryder … We used social media to raise the money and our friends and family have been so generous to help us out,” Erin says.
“We wanted to raise $12,000 to be able to purchase two cuddle cots in honour of Ryder and our best friend Jade’s son Zavier, who was also taken too soon. Now that we have raised enough to purchase the first Cuddle Cot, we are still working towards raising more to purchase the second one.
Tim and Erin have since had another child, Hope, who was born prematurely at Calvary Hospital and spent time in the special care nursery. They say the midwives were “absolutely amazing”, and wanted the Cuddle Cot to go to Calvary Hospital to “make their job a little easier”.
“What better way than to fundraise for such a good cause in honour of our beautiful boy. We wanted to be able to help out another grieving family and make that horrible journey just a little bit easier.”
Tim and Erin are still raising money for a second Cuddle Cot for Calvary Hospital. For more information or to donate, visit cuddlecot.gofundraise.com.au/page/ErinLeonard0