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CuddleCot donated to Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Oct. 12, 2016 – Imagine planning for a newborn for months, creating a nursery, picking out a name, and being showered with gifts at baby showers with family and friends. Now, imagine all of that instantly being taken away.

Unfortunately, Kim and Robert Self know all too well what that reality feels like. On June 12, 2016, Spencer Grace Self never received the chance to take her first breath, or to finally meet her loving parents who had patiently waited for her since September 2015.

After the delivery, the Selfs held on to every moment they had with Spencer, shared among family and close friends. Sadly these moments went by all too soon, especially when her parents were prepared for a lifetime with her.
The CuddleCot was created to give parents more time to grieve with their infant. The CuddleCot is a cooling device used with a crib or bassinet. Its crib-cooling effects slow down decomposition, allowing families to spend precious time with their baby.

The Selfs did not have a CuddleCot after delivering their daughter in Greensboro, North Carolina. But they believe that if they had one, they would have had more time with Spencer. This prompted the Selfs to begin fundraising for the equipment and have since donated a CuddleCot to Novant Health Foundation Forsyth Medical Center. They hope to eventually raise enough money to give each hospital in the area a cot.

Forsyth Medical Center’s new CuddleCot is donated in loving memory of Spencer. The device is beautifully engraved with Spencer’s full name, birthdate and a quote that reads: “We may be separated today, as you are in heaven and we on earth. But nothing will change the fact that you made us parents.”

The Selfs are already fundraising to help others – less than three months after the death of their first child. “People’s babies are dying every day, so there’s no reason to go slow with it,” said Robert.

Kim said that the realization of losing their child hits her at random times, and that it takes her breath away. “It will probably be like that for the rest of my life, and I’m perfectly okay with that. I would rather have those moments.”

The CuddleCot will be used in Forsyth Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit, labor and delivery, antepartum, and the emergency departments.

Kim Self was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in July of 2016, and doctors believe that might have interfered with the pregnancy. The Selfs now live by the mantra of “it could always be worse, as it is for so many others,” and find strength in each other, friends and colleagues who have supported them.

This gift will greatly help other grieving parents, said Patty Vandergrift, neonatal nurse practitioner of perinatal and neonatal palliative care at Forsyth Medical Center. “We know this will be so cherished by future families who need this technology. We are so grateful for Kim and Robert who have taken their situation and have made something beautiful out of it.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stillbirth affects about 1 percent of all pregnancies, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States.

“I hate that we ever have to use it for any baby, but I’m so thankful for the CuddleCot, so that families can have extended time together,” said Vandergrift.

Novant Health Foundation Forsyth Medical Center will be matching the Selfs donation to purchase a second CuddleCot for the hospital. For more information or to support the Novant Health Foundation Forsyth Medical Center, call 336-718-2101, or email [email protected]

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2016