Friday, July 24, 2015

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Chambersburg Hospital received their first ever Cuddle Cot after one couple turned their grief from the loss of their twins into an amazing act of charity.

Brad and Megan Shutack donated the Cuddle Cot to the hospital on July 17 in memory of their twins Jack Alexander and Sophia Marie.

The Shutacks lost their twins May 8 in a premature birth at a Maryland hospital. Using a Cuddle Cot, the family was able to spend time with their twins, capture photographs, and create mementos, such as footprints.

“You’re not going to have their first birthdays to take their pictures,” Megan said. “You’re not going to have any of that stuff so it’s nice we were able to get a few things.”

A Cuddle Cot is a specially designed cooling system that fits within a small cot and allows for babies who have passed away to remain with their families for an extended period of time.

“This amazing device allowed us to create many memories. It allowed our family to hold our angels,” Brad said. “Without it, I’m not really sure what our process would be right now.”

Currently, there are only about 40 cuddle cots within the United States, the Shutacks said. However, they’ve made it their mission to see to it that more hospitals can offer this service to grieving parents.

The systems and cots cost about $3,000. In addition to the Chambersburg Hospital donation, the Shutacks have raised enough to donate a second Cuddle Cot to Waynesboro Hospital and are planning for a third in Altoona.

“On behalf of Chambersburg Hospital, we would like to thank Megan and Brad for their donation in memory of Jack and Sophia,” said Nichole Smith, a registered nurse on the maternity ward of Chambersburg Hospital.

“The harsh reality is that this does happen and we’re going to be there to support the parents as best as we can.”

While the Shutacks hope the devices never have to be used, they also hope to keep raising money through events and online donations and continue to donate Cuddle Cots in memory of Jack and Sophia.

A fundraising event will take place on Saturday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Shady Grove Community Center, 2100 Buchanan Trail East. The event will include several vendors, a bake sale, and raffle tickets.

Donations can also be made online through a Go Fund Me account at http://www.gofundme.com/Jack-Sophia

For more information on maternity services at Chambersburg Hospital, visit www.SummitHealth.org/maternity.

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.

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