SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local couple is raising funds to buy area hospitals CuddleCots, a bassinet-like device that uses a cooling system to preserve the bodies of newborn infants who did not survive after childbirth.
Joe and Hannah Henselder know first-hand how important a CuddleCot is to a family.
“It’s nice to be able to get time you wouldn’t otherwise get. Of course something we never would have thought of unless the doctors said it, and when we were given the opportunity for it we didn’t think twice. Being able to prevent him from being too much of a temperature, was able to preserve him for the time that we needed to really take time to say goodbye,” Joe Henselder said.
September 1st, 2020 was a day the Henselders will never forget. The couple from Tunkhannock welcomed their first child, a boy named Myles, into the world. He was born with a rare condition that led him to live for only six minutes.
“Thanatophoric Dysplasia type 2. Which is short limbs, short ribs, like she said, the lungs don’t develop,” Joe Henselder said.
“They develop a cloverleaf head shape which is part of what makes it so lethal compared to type 1. Because with type 1 they tend to have the stunted limbs and everything like, but cloverleaf head shape adds a lot of fluid in the brain. So he definitely does not look like other children,” Hannah Henselder said.
The two knew they wouldn’t have much time with their newborn son.
“Dr. Silverman up in Syracuse told us it was an extreme case so he was surprised if we got any time at all. So any time that we got we cherished,” Joe Henselder said.
A CuddleCot was donated to them to use, and now the couple would like to help others facing similar situations.
“We ended up reaching out to the company and they said about 300 hospitals in the U.S. have them. That’s about it. So like she said a lot of people in the hospital didn’t even know how it worked because it was so uncommon. So we decided to look into it and contact the company and we found out that the only hospitals that have them have been donated from people that had been in similar situations. So we decided to kind of try and bring as many to local hospitals that we can in case anybody is ever in a situation,” Joe Henselder said.
Each cot costs about $3,000. The Henselders aim to raise as much money as they can to get cots to as many hospitals as possible. Click the link to donate to their efforts.