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Porter receives donation to help grieving families

MEMBERS OF THE UVMHN Porter Medical Center Birthing Center accept a donation of a new “Cuddle Cot” from three area couples who have experienced infant loss, and who raised funds to purchase one of these special Cots for our patients. Photo/UVMHN Porter Medical Center

MIDDLEBURY —The Cuddle Cot, which looks like a conventional bassinet, is a cooling unit that allows parents experiencing a loss an opportunity to spend precious time with their infant, before they say their final goodbye according to Katie Irwin of Woodbridge, Conn. Irwin is the founder of Scarlet’s Mission, a non-profit organization which is named in memory of her daughter, Scarlet Suzy McGonigal. Irwin’s organization connected donor families with hospitals in Vermont, including Porter Medical Center.
During a brief ceremony at Porter on July 1, Katie explained that her experience in a Connecticut hospital was difficult, with a number of decisions having to be made while she was in labor and in the midst of the emotional pain of learning that their child was gone. “It became my mission to make sure this didn’t happen to another family again,” said Irwin. “By outfitting hospitals with Cuddle Cots, families have the option of spending more time with their infant; time to process their grief and time to make the right decisions for their family and their baby.” 
Porter Birthing Center manager Linda Havey expressed her appreciation to Katie and the donor families. “This will provide another important resource for our local families who experience loss and provide them with the most valuable thing they could wish for — more time.”

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