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Published on July 20, 2015

Vineyard Haven Couple Donates Cuddle Cot to Falmouth Hospital Maternity

Julie Immelt and Benjamin Whelden know the heartbreak of having a stillborn child. The Vineyard Haven couple lost a son earlier this year and decided to deal with their grief by making sure others have the “gift of time” with their stillborn baby while in the hospital.

Immelt and Whelden will donate a Cuddle Cot to the maternity department of Falmouth Hospital during a special presentation ceremony at the hospital on Wednesday, July 22, at 1:30 p.m. A Cuddle Cot is a cooling device that is placed under a Moses basket, and regulates the body temperature of the stillborn child to allow families to spend as much time with the baby as possible.

The Vineyard Haven couple’s donation is being made in memory of their son, Mark Benjamin Immelt Whelden, who was born on February 20 at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. The couple regretted they could not spend more time with their stillborn baby after he was born, and later learned of the Cuddle Cot. They have channeled their grief into raising funds for area hospitals so that this unique service can be provided to other parents of stillborn infants.
“We hope to help future parents of stillborns spend those precious moments and not have to say goodbye too soon,” Immelt said.

“We are so grateful to Julie and Ben for this unique and meaningful gift,” said Paula Cronin, RN, Director of the Falmouth Hospital Maternity Department. “They have taken the heartbreak of losing a child and used it to help others, so that future parents of stillborn babies at Falmouth Hospital can have as much time as possible to come to terms with such a devastating event.”

Immelt and Whelden have raised enough money to donate Cuddle Cots to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Falmouth Hospital, and are continuing to raise funds for Cuddle Cots at Cape Cod Hospital and Nantucket Hospital, as well.

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