Local mother and former CHRISTUS St. Vincent patient Heather Kloppe has donated a very special piece of medical equipment to CHRISTUS St. Vincent’s labor and delivery unit – one that will allow parents of stillborn children to spend a little more time with their child before saying goodbye.
The equipment, called a “Cuddle Cot” functions as a type of refrigerated bassinet, helping to slow down natural processes and allowing babies to stay in the room with parents for a little while longer rather than being taken directly to the morgue.
On February 2, 2012, Kloppe went to see her doctor and found there that her unborn baby, Olivia, had no heartbeat. After an emergency cesarean section at CHRISTUS St. Vincent, nurses brought Olivia’s body to Heather and her husband Carlos. After spending a few short moments with Olivia, nurses were required to take her away. Though the time Heather and Carlos had with Olivia was precious, they longed for just a little more.
A few years ago, Heather discovered the Cuddle Cot and wanted other mothers to have the option she never had – more time to say goodbye. It was then that she decided to start raising funds to purchase the unit that was recently donated to CHRISTUS St. Vincent. "I'm so excited to be able to give the families of Santa Fe the gift of time. The gift of those precious moments that you can never get back again," said Kloppe.
According to Heather, the donation is also a way for her to thank the nursing staff that helped her through the worst day of her life. "I don't have words to describe their care, their compassion, their love for myself, for Carlos, my husband, for our family and for Olivia," said Kloppe.
For the labor and delivery nurses at CHRISTUS St. Vincent, this gift means they’ll be able to help grieving parents in a meaningful way. “We are honored to have the cuddle cot that was donated in memory of Olivia”, says Deborah Wallace, Clinical Manager of CHRISTUS St. Vincent Women’s Services. It will provide our families the opportunity to spend more time with their infant, and the quality of that time will be improved. We thank Heather and Carlos for their generous gift.”
Heather currently is raising funds to purchase more Cuddle Cots for hospitals throughout New Mexico. For more information or to make a contribution, visit her GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/OliviaCuddleCot.
CHRISTUS St. Vincent is a private, not-for-profit hospital serving more than 300,000 people in seven counties in Northern New Mexico. CHRISTUS St. Vincent was founded in 1865 by the Sisters of Charity. It is New Mexico's first hospital and the largest private employer in Santa Fe, offering more than 30 specialized services and physician clinics. Our healing ministry is to improve lives by providing excellent, compassionate health care to the patients and families we serve.