A mum has spoken out about the benefits of a device that allows grieving parents to spend precious final hours with their babies after they have passed away.
Laura Elliott, from Chaddesden, lost Cowen after he contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia at just 17 days old in October last year.
However, the 27-year-old mother of two and her family were able to bond with Cowen by using a cuddle cot for 18 days. Its cooling pad in a Moses basket gives relatives more time to say goodbye.
She has decided to speak out to raise awareness of the dangers of Meningococcal Septicaemia and to highlight her own charity event aimed at raising enough money to buy a cuddle cot that could help parents who have lost a child while at Royal Derby Hospital.
Meningococcal Septicaemia is an infection in the bloodstream and symptoms can include fever, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, severe aches and pains, rapid breathing, diarrhoea and a dark purple rash.
Parents who recognise any or all of these signs in an infant or child are urged to call their doctor straight away.
As the family turned their thoughts towards saying goodbye to Cowen, they found out about a way they could spend a little more time bonding with him.
Laura added: “We first heard about the cuddle cot when we started to talk about laying Cowen to rest and were working with the great team at Central England Co-operative’s Funeral Home in Chaddesden.
“Once I heard about the device I knew it would help us as a family and it was quite simply amazing.
“It allowed me and members of my family to spend time and bond with Cowen and get to say goodbye and grieve properly.
“I think these devices are vital to helping parents who have lost a child and there simply are not enough of them.”
She added: “That is why I am fund-raising to pay for one for the Royal Derby Hospital in the hope that if someone has to go through what I did that they have the option to say a proper goodbye to their child.”
Laura will be hosting a special clairvoyant charity event from 7pm on 11 May to raise money to go towards buying a cuddle cot for the Royal Derby Hospital and to raise awareness of Meningococcal Septicaemia.
Tickets cost £10 and the event is being held at The Canal Turn, Station Road, Spondon, DE21 7NE. Tickets are available on the night.
Anyone who cannot attend but would like to donate can visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cuddlecot-cowen