To help grieving families spend as much time with their babies in the unfortunate event of a death, the Caitlyn R. Pate Fund has donated a Cuddle Cot to the Rome Memorial Hospital Maternity Department.
The cooling device preserves a stillborn baby’s body, allowing families the opportunity to take their time saying goodbye after a loss.
“Losing a baby at any stage of the birthing process is a devastating event for the family,” said Kim Davis, Maternity Department nurse manager. “This cot is a wonderful addition to our department because it gives parents and family members some additional time with the baby to gain some small amount of closure and begin their healing process.”
The Caitlyn R. Pate Fund was established in 2014 by Ben and Jackie Pate after their daughter, Caitlyn Ralph Pate, was stillborn at 37 weeks gestation. Through their grief, they created a fund at the Lewis County Hospital Foundation as a way to honor Caitlyn.
In addition to providing the Cuddle Cot, the fund supports families who have suffered the loss of a child through stillbirth, miscarriage or infant death up to 1 year old.
The fund provides a bereavement care package that helps guide families through the difficult journey of losing a child.
A Remembrance Walk is held each year to help the grieving families honor their child. Funds generated from this Walk also help sustain the Fund.
Rome Memorial is the fourth recipient of a Cuddle Cot, following Lewis County General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, where Caitlyn was born, and Crouse Hospital, also in Syracuse.
Each cot costs $2,900, but their value to a grieving family is immeasurable.
“Losing Caitlyn was a terrible day for all of us,” said Jackie Pate. “I remember being so upset when she had to be taken from our room and wishing that we could have just a little more time. These cots are specifically made with this purpose in mind and our mission is to provide one to as many hospitals as we can.”
For more information about the Caitlyn R. Pate fund, visit lchf.networkforgood.com/ or the Remembering Our Angels Facebook page at facebook.com/journeylikenoother/.