Device at Poplar Bluff medical center allows parents of stillborn babies to say goodbye

It’s all thanks to an unlikely friendship after one woman’s loss. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
It’s all thanks to an unlikely friendship after one woman’s loss. (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
The device was donated to PBRMC on November 17. (Source: Wanda Hillis)
The device was donated to PBRMC on November 17. (Source: Wanda Hillis)
Hillis says she hopes her son in heaven can see that his death has a purpose. (Source: Wanda Hillis)
Hillis says she hopes her son in heaven can see that his death has a purpose. (Source: Wanda Hillis)

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - In Butler County, Missouri parents of stillborn babies now have the chance for a little extra time to say goodbye.

It's all thanks to an unlikely friendship after one woman's loss.

"I was looking for birdhouses for my backyard," said Lou Ellen Goin.

Goin turned to Facebook, but when she found the one she was looking for she saw something that made her curious.

"It said selling birdhouses for cuddle cot. A cuddle cot? What is that?" Goin said.

On the other end of the ad was Wanda Hillis who gave birth to her stillborn son in 2015.

"Even when I put it up there I was going – this is not going to work. This is so silly. She said that she wanted to help, and that her husband owned the funeral home, and she wanted to help us," Hillis said.

It's a new device the women donated to Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center in honor of Wanda's son.

The device was donated to PBRMC on November 17.

The way the Cuddle Cot works is it uses a cooling device that sends cold air through a tube into the bassinet and preserves the baby for 16 to 18 days, and it gives parents a chance to say goodbye.

"When a baby is born a baby depreciates so fast. So much more quickly than an adult," Goin said.

"If we would have had that cot he could have stayed in the cot. I could have stayed there until the funeral home came and got him," Hillis said.

Goin said– to see families like Wanda's go through this is heartbreaking.

"You always want to do something to help them, and when this came along I was like – wow. We can help them," Goin said.

"I would have had a funeral instead of meeting at the graveside. I would have gotten to see him that one last time," Hillis said.

Hillis said she hopes her son in heaven can see that his death has a purpose.

"I want him to know that he's going to do so many good things for so many babies and families. I hope he's proud of us. I hope he's so proud of us," Hillis said.

Now the women are on a mission to get a cuddle cot in hospitals throughout The Heartland.

"I would love it if there was one in everywhere around us. It would just mean everything in the world," Hillis said.

"I'm so grateful the birdhouse brought us together," Goin said.

Each Cuddle Cot costs around $3,000 dollars, and there are only around 300 in hospitals across The United States.

If you would like to donate please deliver or mail a check to:

Cuddle Cot Fund
c/o ?The Bank of Missouri
1465 N. Westwood Blvd. 
Poplar Bluff, Mo. 63901

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