Pictured above (L-R): Shona Anderson (Midwife), Jonathan, Cora, Sarah and Susan Matheson (Health Visitor).
A third cuddle cot has been kindly donated to the Western Isles, specifically to the Uists community midwifery service to enable bereaved parents to take their time when saying goodbye to their baby.
The special cot was donated by parents Sarah and Jonathan, in memory of their baby boy Harris Michael Smith. The donation of the cot to the Uists now means one will be available in the islands of Lewis and Harris, Uists and Barra, ensuring appropriate support to parents at a most difficult time.
Sarah said, “After suffering a late miscarriage and giving birth to Harris in June last year, Jonathan and I were given the option of spending precious time with our son. This is where we learned of the benefits of a Cuddle Cot and a unique charity called SiMBA (Simpson's Memory Box Appeal).
“SiMBA does so many meaningful things to help families overcome miscarriage and stillbirth. Most importantly, they give parents the confidence to create memories without fear of judgement and so when I set out to do something in memory of Harris, I wanted to support the charity and other families.”
The couple, from Edinburgh, decided to donate their Cuddle Cot to the Uists team due to Sarah’s island connections of her father being born and raised in Stornoway and having family residing on the islands. They hope that other parents will have the Cuddle Cot for use in the sad event that it's needed and know just how much it will mean to have that time with their little one.
Sarah continued, “Our daughter Cora who is two and a half, has been a blessing in helping us through this difficult time and we received phenomenal support from family and friends. I fundraised by taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF) 10K in May, followed by the Great Scottish Summer 10K in June. Not to be outdone, Cora also took part in the Great Scottish Toddle the same day, and all monies we raised were put towards the Uists Cuddle Cot and SiMBA. It was on the anniversary of Harris’s birth that we collected our Cuddle Cot to bring up to the islands.”
Catherine Macdonald, NHS Western Isles Maternity Ward Manager, said, “We cannot express just how grateful we are for this kind donation from Sarah and Jonathan. As islanders we can all appreciate the difficulties associated to the geographical spread of our islands, meaning we may travel for more than 6 hours between Stornoway to Barra.
“The donations of these Cuddle Cots now mean that parents can have access to them when required, rather than having to wait for the cot to be delivered from a neighbouring island.”
Pictured above: Staff from the Maternity team at Western Isles Hospital and Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, are pictured with parents Sarah and Jonathan and daughter Cora handing over Cuddle Cot.