WAYNESBORO, Pa. – Just months after losing their twins, a local couple have turned their grief into an amazing act of charity by donating a Cuddle Cot to Waynesboro Hospital.
Brad and Megan Shutack donated the Cuddle Cot to the hospital in August in memory of their twins Jack Alexander and Sophia Marie. They also donated a second back-up Cuddle Cot to Summit Health.
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.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Waynesboro made the cots possible through an in-kind donation. The systems and cots cost about $3,000.
“There are not many people who know the heartbreak,” Brad said. “Humans are not designed to know both birth and death at the same time.”
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 device allowed us to keep our angels right beside us,” Megan said. “Not everyone may have a positive reaction to the Cuddle Cot, but for families going through this loss, it can make all the difference.”
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.
Michele Bowers, a registered nurse at with the Waynesboro Hospital Family Birthing Services unit, thanked the Shutacks for their donation.
“Our community will be blessed by this. The response has been overwhelming and it’s touching,” Bowers said. “It’s out of love for your angels that you can do this and pay it forward. We really appreciate it.”
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.
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 Waynesboro 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.