Last month St George’s received a very kind and thoughtful gift from the Scanlon family.

Trudie, her brother Leo and her son Archie came to meet with St George’s Hospital Charity and some of our midwives so that they could give us a special ‘Cuddle Cot’ which will help parents who suffer a stillbirth.

A ‘Cuddle Cot’ is essentially a refrigerated bassinet. It gives parents more time with their baby as it means they can stay in the room, even go home with them in the cot.

The Scanlon family have been tirelessly fundraising to purchase Cuddle Cots in memory of Trudie’s little boy Reggie who was lost last year.

In February 2014, Trudie was four months pregnant, on holiday with her partner Ross and son Archie. They were enjoying some quality time together when Ross began to experience chronic headaches, which sent him to his GP. In April, after several examinations, Ross was diagnosed with terminal cancer; in May he passed away.

Trudie was distraught and relied heavily on the support of her family. In July she began to experience labour pains – baby Reggie was on his way!

Arriving at East Surrey Hospital with mixed emotions, Trudie was taken onto the maternity ward where she was told there were problems in detecting Reggie’s heartbeat. In shock and total disbelief, Trudie underwent four foetal heart scans before it was confirmed that Reggie had died.

“There aren’t any words to describe the pain, the heartache and even the anger I had at that moment. I had already lost my partner, why would my baby be taken from me only eight weeks later? I knew, being nine months pregnant, I’d need to go through the traumatic, natural labour with nothing to gain. My heart wasn’t broken- it was shattered. My mind was all over the place, but I knew one thing for sure and that was my little Reggie was coming home with me.”

The hospital recommended that Reggie should stay at the hospital morgue, that she should return home and that they would arrange the funeral for them. Trudie knew this wasn’t an option for her and instead insisted that they find her a Cuddle Cot so that she could take her son home. She wasn’t ready to say goodbye and she knew Reggie’s place was with her, not the morgue.

Eventually, six days after giving birth Trudie returned home to Crawley with her baby Reggie and the only Cuddle Cot East Surrey Hospital had.

Having the special cot gave Trudie and her family precious time with Reggie. He was home for his big brother Archie’s 1st birthday; a beautiful memory that can be shared with Archie when he is old enough to understand.

Reggie remained at home with his family for a week. On 23rd of July 2014 he was laid to rest.

“I would do anything to change my story, and have my son in my arms, but life had a different plan. With my pain, heartache and story, I hope to help other parents who sadly have to go through the heart-breaking reality of having a stillborn. We can’t take away the pain, but we can help to create precious memories in the so little time we have our angel babies on earth for.”

Trudie wants to help other families who experience the pain of loss. Her aim is to raise as much money as possible to purchase as many Cuddle Cots as she can, and then gift these special cots to hospitals where families might need them.

We are grateful that Trudie selected St George’s as one of the hospitals to receive a cot.

If you would like to donate to Trudie’s fundraising efforts, you can find out more information on her GoFundMe Page.