Tragic loss inspires family's generous donation

Two women a man and a baby around a cuddle cott
August 11, 2020

In February 2019, Jane and Rhylan Schulz suffered immeasurable heartbreak when their first born daughter Addison was stillborn at 39 weeks and 4 days.

The couple, who has since gone on to welcome their second baby daughter Hallie in April this year, were able to turn their personal tragedy into a community fundraising effort to benefit the Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) maternity ward.

“It was a low risk pregnancy so to lose her at almost full term came as a huge shock to both of us, we were absolutely devastated,” Jane said.

“Following Addison’s birth we were able to spend very precious time with her right up until we left the hospital.”

They were able to do this with the help of a Cuddle Cot, a cooling system within a bassinet that lays beneath a baby who has tragically died.

There is a only a brief window of time that can be spent with the baby, which is where a Cuddle Cot is so invaluable, as it enables families to keep their baby close for an extended period and reduces further distress of separation by regularly handing their baby over to hospital staff.

After initially raising $11,000 by completing a 12 kilometre run in Addison’s memory, the Schulz family made it their goal to raise a further $6,500 for a Cuddle Cot through prize raffles, family and friends as well as their workplaces.

“We really wanted to raise awareness around still birth, and we knew how important a Cuddle Cot could be for parents who have suffered a loss, so with the help of Bears of Hope we made it our goal to raise the money in time for Addison’s first birthday,” Jane said.

FSH Clinical Midwife Specialist, Amanda Bath, said the couple’s generous donation would go on to assist other families during what is a very sad and overwhelming time.

“It’s such a lovely gesture and the donation means the very special memories they were able to create with their daughter Addison, other parents can now do the same in our maternity ward with the valuable addition of the Cuddle Cot.”

For more information on Cuddle Cots, visit Bears of Hope (external site).