Life Family

Thursday 8 December 2016

Parents of stillborn baby raise funds to help grieving families 'say goodbye to their baby as we did'

‘Cuddle Cot’ equipment afforded them precious time to grieve after their baby's death.

Published 11/05/2016 | 14:42

The Cuddle Cot allowed Anthony McDonagh, his wife Kathriona and their daughter Imelda (2) to spend precious time with baby Gloria.
The Cuddle Cot allowed Anthony McDonagh, his wife Kathriona and their daughter Imelda (2) to spend precious time with baby Gloria.

A mum and dad whose daughter tragically died before birth have launched a fundraising campaign to purchase equipment which will support Irish families of stillborn babies.

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Anthony McDonagh and Kathriona Connolly’s daughter Gloria Catherine was tragically stillborn at her birth in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital on April 28, but the couple said the ‘Cuddle Cot’ equipment available afforded them time to grieve with their baby.

The cot is produced Irish charity Feileacain and is connected to a cooling system which allows parents the time they previously did not have to bond and grieve for their baby.

“After Gloria was born the Cuddle Cot gave us time that was so precious. We were able to spend that night in hospital with her and sleep in the same room. We came back throughout the weekend to hold her with our other little girl and take those pictures we felt we needed,” said Anthony, from Ballyfermot.

“Without the Cuddle Cots parents don’t have the time to grieve but the time we had to spend with Gloria was so important to us.”

The couple and their daughter Imelda (2) said their final goodbye to Gloria in ceremony in Mount Jerome, and they said their little daughter made sure the sun was shining on them.

Anthony and Kathriona have launched a fundraising campaign to raise funds to make more Cuddle Cots available in the Rotunda, so that other parents of stillborn babies will have the opportunity to spend time with their child, as they did with baby Gloria.

“The Cuddle Cots cost about €2,500 and €500 to maintain each year. The number of machines is quite limited, but we would love to raise enough money so that everyone who has to say goodbye to their baby as we did, has the time they need to do it,” said Anthony.

To donate to Anthony and Kathriona’s campaign, visit www.gofundme.com/cuddlegloria

For more information and support on stillbirth and neonatal death visit www.feileacain.ie

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