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Giving parents time to say goodbye

THE Mareeba and Atherton Hospital will be the beneficiaries of a new cuddle cot due to the fundraising efforts of a number of community organisations and a determined Mossman woman.

A cuddle cot is a cooling system that is designed to fit in a small cot and allows babies who have passed away to remain with their families as opposed to needing to be cooled in a mortuary environment.

One such mother who understands the importance of cuddle cots and what they can provide is Mossman woman Danielle Bower, whose personal experience motivated her to initiate a fundraising drive that has resulted in a cuddle cot being made available on the Tablelands.

“My husband and I suffered a loss in October of 2016,” she said.

“Unfortunately the cuddle cot that was provided to us at the Cairns Hospital was not working, which limited the time we were able to spend saying our goodbyes.

“I knew straight away that I didn’t want this happen to other parents in the future, so I spoke to my husband about ways we could raise money towards providing a new one.

“It is also a way to honour our baby’s memory.”

Mrs Bower said fortunately Cairns now have access to at least one cuddle cot, so the decision was made to share this one between Atherton and Mareeba, neither of which had one.

“Cuddle cots allow both parents and even extended family, to spend more time with their baby,” she said.

“This time is when precious memories are made.”

Mrs Bower said her fundraising efforts began in January of 2017 when she was put in touch with The FNQ Hospital Foundation who set up a link on their webpage to allow people to donate.

“My Grandparents had a big crop of rambutans so they offered to let me sell them, and 100% of the proceeds went towards the cuddle cot,” she said.

“I also approached the Mossman Rotary Club, and all up we raised $1692.40.

“Friends of Mareeba Hospital Foundation kindly offered to make up the rest of the money needed to secure a cuddle cot.”

Mrs Bower took time to thank those who contributed in helping secure a cuddle cot for the Tablelands.

“I would like to thank everyone involved including Glenys Duncombe, from The FNQ Hospital Foundation – she kick started the fundraising through their website and couldn’t have been more helpful,” she said.

“I would also like to thank Evelyn Mathews, from Mossman Rotary, for their kind donation.

“As well as Ida Portella from the Friends of Mareeba Hospital Foundation, who was integral in organising the remaining funds needed – she also took the ropes for me as it was easier for her to liaise with everyone (hospitals and foundations) from that point on.

“And I want to thank my Grandparents who generously donated their time and produce to the fundraiser. I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to help the Tablelands community as my Grandma grew up in Mareeba, and we have a lot of family there.”

Mrs Bower said in closing, the staff who helped us during our time at the Cairns Hospital were incredible.

“I hope in the future that cuddle cots may be considered a necessity in every hospital,” she said.

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