Falmouth Couple Donates “Cuddle Cots” to Local Hospitals

"Cuddle Cot" donated by Benjamin and Julie Whelden

“Cuddle Cot” donated by Benjamin and Julie Whelden, which contains a picture of their stillborn son Mark.

HYANNIS – A Falmouth couple who experienced personal tragedy last year, have turned their attention to helping the community.

Nearly a year ago, Benjamin Whelden and his wife Julie gave birth to their son Mark, who was stillborn, and were unable to spend much time with him before he was taken away.

Since then, they started a gofundme page dedicated to raising money for a cot that would be used at hospitals and be given to parents of stillborn children to spend more time with them.

The cot is equipped with a special cooling device that is placed under the mattress of a bassinette.

“With the three hours we had with Mark, I didn’t have time to do stuff that most parents do, so I wanted future parents to have lots more time to think “oh I should look at his feet, I should all the stuff that normal people do when their kids go home with them”, said Julie.

Packaging that contains the "Cuddle Cot" for local hospitals

Packaging that contains the “Cuddle Cot” for local hospitals

The Whelden’s original goal was to raise $9,000 so that they could donate to three hospitals, since the price per cot was $3,000.

After the three cots were donated to Falmouth Hospital, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Nantucket Hospital, the couple received a private donation for the purchase of another cot, which was later donated to Cape Cod Hospital.

The couple plan to continue to raise more money on their gofundme page with an aim at bringing cots to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Julie Whelden is hoping that the Cuddle Cots will better help parents of stillborn children.

“Grieving is life-long but I think if we had more time to say goodbye and really spend time with him, it would’ve helped us be a little further in the grieving process,” said Julie.

The Whelden’s tragedy nearly a year ago has a new meaning for the family.

In addition to dedicating each Cuddle Cot in memory of their son, the couple is currently pregnant and due for their next child in late June.

“A lot of people are sad for us and we are sad as well, but we also try to keep going and think of positives things to do,” said Julie.

To donate, go to gofundme.com and search “Cuddle Cots in Memory of Baby Mark”.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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