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Cooling system donation

The Cuddle Cot cooling system helps increase the time families can spend with stillborn babies. 

A local organization donated a comforting piece of new equipment to HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls Monday.

Helpful Hearts Foundation Inc. is a locally based nonprofit helping provide grants to families in need of money for funerals.

More recently, they’ve begun to help provide equipment to hospitals to help comfort the families of stillborn children.

The Cuddle Cot is a cooling system that fits inside a bassinet.

According to Heather Vavra, vice president of Helpful Hearts, 25,000 stillbirths occur in the United States every year.

The organization would like to put a Cuddle Cot in every birthing center in the Chippewa Valley to help families bond, grieve and say goodbye with more time.

“It allows the families to actually keep them in the room longer,” Vavra said. “We wanted to give the gift of time.”

The systems cost between $4,000 and $6,000 apiece and are made in the United Kingdom.

According to Vavra, Sacred Heart in Eau Claire already has one and they’re currently applying for grants to get one to Marshfield Clinic.

Katie Klein, a registered nurse with the Women and Infants Center at St. Joseph’s, said they’d wanted to get a system previously, but due to how specific it is and how expensive, it can be pushed down to the bottom of a budget, especially for a smaller hospital.

“It makes a huge difference for the patient experience,” Klein said. “We’ve known about Cuddle Cots and wanted one for a long time.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that there are 25,000 stillbirths every year, not Cuddle Cots in hospitals. It has been updated to correct the spelling of Heather Vavra's name and list the correct job title for Katie Klein.

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