A Teutopolis family donated a CuddleCot to Carle Richland Memorial Hospital Family Maternity Services in honor of their late son, Daniel Anthony. Dustin and Natasha Ruholl promoted their story and their mission through an online fundraiser and free will donation lunch and dinner. They initially hoped to raise enough money to purchase one CuddleCot but ended up purchasing nine to donate to area hospitals.
The Ruholl’s wanted to help change the way other families will experience the loss of their baby by giving parents the gift of time. Having lost their youngest son, Daniel, unexpectedly eight weeks before his due date, they know first-hand how difficult it is to say goodbye, especially when time is so limited.
“The CuddleCot will do so much for so many. Parents who have experienced late miscarriages, stillbirth, and even infant loss (up to one year of age) can benefit by using a CuddleCot,” Tasha said. “It’s absolutely heartbreaking knowing that the CuddleCots will be put to good use, yet we know what a positive impact it will make on so many families. We couldn’t be prouder to honor our son, Daniel, in such a profound way.”
Through their journey of raising awareness of infant loss, they connected with Christina Stamper, founder of Madison’s Miracles, who helped them navigate the fundraising process. Stamper began Madison’s Miracles, a non-profit organization that provides support and resources to grieving parents who have experienced stillbirth, pregnancy or infant loss, in memory of her daughter who was born sleeping in 2007.
The CuddleCot system offers continuous cooling to help preserve a sleeping infant’s delicate features. Families can use the cooling pad in a bassinet or as a blanket to have more time to hold the infant, allowing for time to build cherished memories and develop a sense of closure.
“We are very grateful to the Ruholl family for choosing to honor their son with this gift to our department. This will help us to better care for families who have lost a baby and allow them that time that they very much need with their baby,” said Stephanie Ochs, RN, Family Maternity Services nurse manager. “This is just a way we, as a hospital, can support grieving families.”