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Couple donates ‘CuddleCot’ to Utah hospital to help parents of stillborn babies say goodbye

SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah Hospital is now home to a “CuddleCot”, which allows grieving families a little extra time with their stillborn babies.

The device was donated by a Utah couple who suffered the loss of their own stillborn baby last year. This is the second device the couple has donated so far, the other was donated to St. Mark’s hospital.

The couple delivered their baby at IMC, but that hospital has since gotten a CuddleCot. They say they hope this device will give other families some extra time to say their goodbyes.

“That’s why we’re so passionate about these devices, they offer families a gift of time, they cool the baby’s body temperature to be able to preserve them so that parents aren’t watching their children fall apart in front of them,” said Marki Hinkle, who gave birth to a stillborn baby last year at IMC hospital.

Rita Aguilar is the nursing director for women's and children's health at University of Utah Hospital, and she said the CuddleCot serves an important function.

“Psychologists realize that if parents are not afforded that opportunity to really have that time with their infants, it can have long-term psychological adverse effects across the lifetime of these mothers, fathers, and families,” Aguilar said.

The hospital says 1 in every 160 births in the United States are stillborn. That’s about 26,000 per year or 71 every single day.

As with most stillborn cases, the Hinkles had nine months of healthy pregnancy and still don’t know why their daughter’s heart stopped beating. The Hinkle couple are continuing to raise money so that other hospitals can have the device as well.

For more information on how you can help the couple raise money for more CuddleCots to be donated to other hospitals in the future, click here.