Grieving P.E.I. grandmother raises money for cuddle cot in child's memory

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 24, 2016

Tammy MacDonald of St. Andrews holds a photograph of the hand and feet prints taken from her grandson Marcel, who was stillborn in November.

©SUBMITTED PHOTO

Tammy MacDonald never met her grandson, Marcel — and she never will.

Marcel was stillborn in Calgary on Nov. 2, 2015.

"I do have an ache — a hole — that I'm missing because I was never able to see him,'' says MacDonald, a resident of St. Andrews, P.E.I.

MacDonald does have photos of Marcel that were taken shortly after an induced delivery brought his lifeless body into the world.

She appreciates that the pictures are difficult for some to view, but the grieving grandmother cherishes each one.

A professional photographer was able to take photographs of Marcel because the hospital in Calgary had a CuddleCot, which is designed to keep a stillborn child cool, so grieving parents can spend more time with the babies they have lost.

MacDoanld believes the CuddleCot provided invaluable additional time for her daughter, Amanda Comeau, to say goodbye to the once much-anticipated third son for Amanda and her husband, George.

"She held him immediately,'' says MacDonald.

"I really feel being able to have the CuddleCot in the (hospital) room has helped her tremendously... There are some people that don't get that opportunity to see their (stillborn) baby.''

MacDonald wants parents in P.E.I. who endure the heartache of having a stillborn child to also have that precious extra little time together.

She started fundraising two weeks ago to get a CuddleCot for the QEH in Charlottetown.

She has the blessing of the QEH Foundation in trying to raise $4,000 for the purchase of the special cot. Donations can be made by visiting www.qehfoundation.pe.ca, clicking on the Donate Now icon and selecting CuddleCot under Fund/Designation.

MacDonald says the fundraising has been therapeautic for her in dealing with the loss of her grandson, Marcel.

She has been touched deeply with people sharing personal stories of losing a child to stillbirth.

"The most common comment I hear is 'I wish I had use of that (CuddleCot),' '' she says.