$11,000 ‘Cuddle Cot’ For St George Private September 1
Sep 01, 2016
“For anyone who has had a stillborn baby, the hardest part is watching everyone else walk out of hospital holding a newborn – while you leave clutching only a teddy bear,” says Chloe Stavlas, 33 who lost her baby at 37 weeks October last year.
But her heartbreaking loss, the Shellharbour mum and her Sutherland police officer husband Dion, have used the experience to help others - and raised $11,000 on Facebook in order to donate a “Cuddle Cot” to St George Private Hospital last month.
“A few days before our baby Chrissi was due, I was at home and instinctively felt the baby had stopped kicking. I went to Figtree Private Hospital where scans confirmed the baby’s heart had stopped beating,” says Chloe.
“It was devastating, but what really helped was having a cuddle cot – a special device for stillborn babies that was donated to the hospital from another mum who had lost her baby.”
Fitted with a blue electrical unit and insulated cold blanket, the Cuddle Cot provides a temporary resting place – allowing a fuller "cradle to grave" experience for traumatised parents in need of comfort.
Shortly afterwards, Chloe, a former Carlton resident, started up a Facebook Fundraising account to raise money for Bears of Hope - with the aim to provide more Cuddle Cots to hospitals in southern NSW.
The couple, together with the Lyons Club Bowral raised enough to buy and donate the cuddle cot to St George Private last month.
St George Private Hospital Director of Clinical Services Matt Wall, thanked the couple for their “extraordinary” generosity.
“Six Australian families are affected by stillbirth every day. For Chloe and Dion to think about others despite their own heartache is truly selfless.”
For Chloe, now pregnant with her third baby (a boy), hope is the most important thing to cling to, after pregnancy loss.
“When the world tells us to “give up” hope whispers to try one more time,” says Chloe.
“The next child after a pregnancy loss is like a rainbow. He is ours, but we still haven’t forgotten the journey of how we came to be here. We wanted to give to others that gift of time with their baby.”
Dion and Chloe with St George Private midwife Lisa Loveland and the cuddle cot machine