New Donation to Bon Secours Hospital Can Help Parents Cope with Infant Loss

Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center (MRMC) in Mechanicsville, Virginia, recently received a Flexmort CuddleCot™ system as a gift from a Virginia family who suffered the loss of their newborn child. A CuddleCot is a cooling mattress that is placed in what resembles a bassinet to regulate the baby’s body temperature preventing color change for hours and sometimes days. This technology allows parents and other loved ones the gift of time with the baby allowing them to bond, take pictures and make unforgettable memories while coping with the loss.

Thanks to this donation, CuddleCot machines are now available at all Bon Secours labor & delivery (L&D) units in Richmond, including Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center, Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian, Virginia, and Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.

“We are thrilled to receive a CuddleCot to help our future patients and families with their grieving process after infant and pregnancy loss,” said Amy Daly, Nursing Director, Mother Infant Unit for Memorial Regional Medical Center. “The CuddleCot not only allows the families time to bond with their child and can help provide some closure, but it’s a healthy way to process loss and can be very effective in helping these families cope in a way that otherwise hasn’t been available.”

The gift comes from a Virginia couple, Mark ‘Tracy’ and Shannon Armes from Wilsons, who utilized a Flexmort CuddleCot™ when their daughter Skylar Jean Armes was tragically stillborn at full term in October 2016. Their donated CuddleCot was dedicated at MRMC on September 28th just ahead of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October in honor of their late daughter and her 3rd birthday. This is the first such device available at MRMC for bereaved families.

“We are grateful a CuddleCot was available when our daughter Skylar was born. It gave us invaluable time to bond with her,” said Mr. and Mrs. Armes, Skylar’s parents. “Even though she was born still, the CuddleCot enabled us to keep Skylar with us in our room, hold her, bathe her, dress her, and capture photographs that must last a lifetime - priceless memories our family will cherish forever.”

While there is no way to ease the pain associated with the death of a child, the CuddleCot system can provide a small source of comfort to those parents and loved ones that are faced with overwhelming grief and who might otherwise have a very limited opportunity to visit with their baby.

“We pray this gift of time will provide comfort to families that experience the devastating loss of a baby. For those we hold in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever,” added the Armes family.