Methodist Healthcare - July 28, 2020
by Emily McLoughlin

The Kann family presents a Cuddle Cot to the Women’s Services staff at Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak.

The San Antonio community is showing compassion for grieving parents with donations of Cuddle Cots to Methodist Healthcare hospitals.

A Cuddle Cot is a cooled bassinet that slows down the body’s decomposing process and allows parents to keep a deceased infant at bedside if the family desires. Cuddle Cots give parents days with their stillborn instead of just hours.

The San Antonio chapter of Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support donated two Cuddle Cots to Methodist Children’s Hospital. The Kann family of San Antonio donated one Cuddle Cot each to Methodist Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan and Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak.

A nonprofit organization, Share serves those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life. Local co-founders and co-facilitators are Lauren VandeBerg and Andrea Riedel.

“Cuddle Cots give parents time with their babies that they will never have again,” said VandeBerg, who lost two children herself and has had three miscarriages. “Cuddle Cots also allow time for family from out of town to see the baby and grieve. The use of Cuddle Cots has been proven to psychologically help parents through the grieving process.”

The Kann family is using the Cuddle Cots to turn their grief into comfort for others. Drs. Will and Kristen Kann lost their baby Penny Mae in May 2019. She was placed in a Cuddle Cot that another grieving family had left at the hospital for families to use.

“The time that I got with the Cuddle Cot was the only time that I had,” said Dr. Will Kann. “It was really the difference between having some time and having no time.”

Inspired by their daughter, the Penny Mae Project was born. The couple used donations to purchase 10 Cuddle Cots for area hospitals.

“We’re trying to show how much love we have for other people who are going through this so that they know they are not alone,” said Dr. Kristen Kann.

For more information on Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, visit Share SATX.

Laruen VandeBerg and Andrea Riedel with Share (center) and the Kann family present Cuddle Cots to the Women’s Services staff at Methodist Hospital | Children’s.