MaineGeneral receives gift to help grieving parents
Madeline’s Mission, a nonprofit based in Midcoast Maine, delivered a Cuddle Cot bassinet to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Alfond Center for Health (ACH) Sept. 26 to support families who have experienced the loss of a child.
The gift – the first of its kind at MaineGeneral and the second that the organization has presented since June – will help parents whose babies have died, enabling the parents to have more time to spend with their child. The Cuddle Cot preserves the newborn’s body to let families have more time to say goodbye.
“It’s a specialized crib that resembles a bassinet but has a cooled mattress pad which allows families to spend more time with their infant after a loss,” said Amie Marzen, co-founder of Madeline’s Mission. “With the cooling mattress, families can spend priceless extra hours together in their hospital room, allowing time for more pictures, bonding and saying goodbye.”
Marzen, who lives in Bath, co-founded the organization in memory of her daughter Madeline, who died at age four from an inoperable brain tumor. She presented the Cuddle Cot along with fellow members Melissa Chretien, also of Bath, and Jessica Brucato of Wiscasset, and said her connection to MaineGeneral comes through her friendship with Dr. Clota Snow, who has been a pediatric hospitalist at the ACH since 2013.
Brucato said being able to present the gift – and support other families like hers – is very meaningful.
“It’s very dear to my heart. For every Cuddle Cot we can provide, we’re supporting families and giving them more time with their little ones,” she said. “We hope people never have to use it, of course, but I know for us it was hugely valuable to have the time we wanted with our son Quinn.”
“One thing that Jess has said before is that when your hellos are also your goodbyes, there’s not enough time in the world, so this gift helps gives families that extra time,” Marzen added. “While we hope you never have to take it out of the box, we hope it brings comfort and peace to anyone who does need it.”
Formed in March 2019, Madeline’s Mission seeks to provide a path toward wellness, healing, and hope for families surviving child loss. The organization plans to continue to raise funds to purchase additional Cuddle Cots to donate to Maine hospitals.
Shown at the Sept. 26 Cuddle Cot presentation in the photo above are, from left, Diane Allen, nursing manager, Maternity & Pediatrics; Melanie Lee, nursing supervisor, Maternity & Pediatrics; Amie Marzen, co-founder of Madeline’s Mission; Karen Takatsu, nursing clinical informatics specialist, Maternity & Pediatrics; and Melissa Chretien and Jessica Brucato, Madeline’s Mission members.