Danielle and Kevin O’Shaughnessy discovered that Danyl had a severe heart defect when they were expecting him and his twin brother Dylan.
Initially Danyl wasn’t expected to survive pregnancy and when he was born the family only expected to spend a few days or weeks with him. He celebrated his first birthday and, when he died in his Mum’s arms 10 days later, his death came as a shock.
Danielle said: “We had been told that we would see his condition deteriorate but in the end it was quite sudden. We were provided with a cuddle cot by the child loss charity 4Louis and it made a huge difference. It allowed us time with him in the house to process what had happened.
“He stayed with us for four days after he died, it was like he was just asleep and it helped us to move forward. It also helped that family members could come and have one last cuddle.”
After Danyl’s death, Danielle and Kevin decided to raise funds for two cuddle cots. They had already been fundraising for St Oswald’s Hospice, which provided counselling for the family, raising almost £6,000.
Accompanied by Dylan and his older brother Oliver, the couple presented a cuddle cot to Daren Persson Funeral Services North Shields branch, and the other cot has been provided to the local community nursing team. The cuddle cot system uses a cooling mechanism to maintain a baby’s condition after they have died.
Funeral Partners area development manager, Heather McBeth, said: “We would like to thank Danielle and Kevin for this kind donation to help other families in memory of their beautiful little boy. I am humbled by the family thinking of others after the tragic loss of their baby son.
“We will be able to loan out the cuddle cot, or it can be used in our funeral homes, to allow families a little extra time with their baby to help them during the grieving process.”