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Cuddle Cot donation to hospital comforts families with infant loss

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September 29 is a special day for Dave and Laurie Sandquist of Hudson, Wis. Their son, Carter Gerald was born on this day in 1999. In July of that year, their unborn son was diagnosed with Triploidy, a fatal chromosome abnormality. They had three days with Carter before his death on October 1.

Pictured here, left to right are Laurie and Dave Sandquist, Mindy Milich, Bruce Hanson and Jean Meier, manager, Women’s Health, Westfields Hospital & Clinic.

“There were no organizations like Halos of the St. Croix Valley at the time, or support groups,” said Laurie.  To give families more time with their “little angels”, the Sandquists chose Carter’s 18th birthday to donate a CuddleCot to Westfields Hospital & Clinic. The gift is given in memory of Carter and in honor of Dr. Bruce Hanson who care for Laurie during her pregnancy and Carter’s aunt, Mindy Milich. It was Carter who inspired, Mindy, a high school student, to become a nurse, and in her words, “the best nurse ever.” Mindy is now a registered nurse at Westfields.

The family raised funds through a local nonprofit organization, Halos of St. Croix Valley, whose mission is to provide ongoing support, encouragement, and assistance to families who are grieving the loss of a child.

The family’s donation of a CuddleCot will help provide comfort to others experiencing the loss of an infant. A cuddle cot is a bassinet that uses a medical cooling system that delays changes to a stillborn child. The cooling unit is hidden inside the sheets of the bassinet, allowing a serene setting for parents. This unit is a gift of time to grieving parents.

Family and staff gathered to dedicate the donation in memory of Carter and celebrate with a birthday cake. Curt Thomassen, chaplain, offered a blessing.