Grandmother fundraises for device that helps families grieve stillbirths
Tammy MacDonald hopes to buy a CuddleCot for the QEH to honour grandson Marcel
A P.E.I. woman whose grandson was stillborn in November has started a fundraising campaign to buy a device that helps give grieving families "the gift of time."
Tammy MacDonald's grandson Marcel was delivered stillborn at Foothills Hospital in Calgary.
You never go into labour and delivery thinking that you're going to go home empty-handed.- Tammy MacDonald, grandmother
The hospital was equipped with a CuddleCot, which keeps a stillborn's body cool so parents can have more time with the baby.
MacDonald said the device helped her daughter and son-in-law through the grieving process.
She wants the same comfort to be available to Island families.
"It enables parents and families to get to know their baby and to say goodbye to them," said MacDonald.
"It gives them the gift of time."
The CuddleCot also gives parents who may have initially decided not to look at their baby because of the trauma of the birth the opportunity to change their mind.
MacDonald has launched a fundraising campaign called Marcel's Cradle to purchase one of the devices for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.
'It's not talked about'
The project is welcome and will benefit grieving families, QEH Foundation officials told CBC News.
"They just had never heard of such an item. It's pretty new," said MacDonald.
She said talking about the initiative has helped her deal with her own grief.
"There are so many people this has happened to … and it's not talked about," she said.
"So hopefully this will give them a little bit of closure and it gives them time. Because you never go into labour and delivery thinking that you're going to go home empty-handed."
A CuddleCot costs about $4,000,
The Art After Dark initiative is helping with a fundraiser on Feb. 20 at the Mount Stewart Community Centre from 6 to 9 p.m.
MacDonald will also be making bookmarks out of wood to sell and plans to hold a ceilidh in the future.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can call the hospital foundation and ask them to earmark the money for the project.