(EFFINGHAM, IL) – Losing a baby is one of the hardest things a couple can go through. For Dustin and Tasha Ruholl of Teutopolis, they experienced this loss on October 16, 2017 when they lost their son, Daniel Anthony, to stillbirth.
Out of this tragedy, the Ruholl’s wanted to offer comfort to others facing this same unimaginable difficulty, as well as honor the memory of their son. They learned about the CuddleCot™ system a few months after Daniel passed away and shortly thereafter decided to honor their son by helping other families who will also experience the loss of a child. By donating the CuddleCot system, families will fortunately not have to endure many of the very sensitive hardships the Ruholl family experienced. The CuddleCot system has a cooling pad that is placed in bassinet, which slows the infant’s physical changes, allowing the family to have more time with the baby upon his or her passing.
Tasha and Dustin hosted a fundraiser on September 28, 2018 where they offered a freewill donation luncheon and dinner drive-thru at McMahon Meats in Teutopolis. Given this fundraiser combined with an online fundraiser was so successful, the Ruholl’s are able to donate CuddleCots to eight hospitals in the region, one of which is HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital.
The Ruholl’s worked with a non-profit organization called Madison’s Miracles based in Florida, which provides support and resources to grieving parents who have experienced still birth or infant loss. Madison’s Miracles was founded by Chris and Christina Stamper, who named the organization after their deceased daughter, Madison Elizabeth Stamper. They lost Madison to stillbirth 11 years ago. The Stamper’s did not have access to a CuddleCot at the time of Madison’s passing; therefore, they had limited time to say their goodbye’s to their daughter.
“The Cuddle Cot gives parents and families more time so photographs can be taken, hand and footprints can be done and parents can bond, giving them a healthier closure,” said Christina Stamper. Madison’s Miracles have dedicated seven units so far in the State of Florida, one in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania and one in Harris, New York so far.
On Wednesday, December 5, Madison’s Miracles and the Ruholl Family presented HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital with a CuddleCot in memory of Daniel A. Ruholl. Hospital leadership, physicians and colleagues were present for this special presentation.
Tasha shared, “We wanted to do something to make the experience of losing a baby a little easier for other parents, and honor the memory of Daniel. After learning about the CuddleCot system, we knew we wanted to donate these to hospitals who might not be able to purchase one given the fact that stillbirths, fortunately, don’t happen every day. It is our hope that this will allow families the opportunity to create cherished moments and establish a sense of closure.”
To honor Daniel and in appreciation of the Ruholl’s generosity, HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation will be placing a commemorative paver in the hospital’s Healing Garden in Daniel’s memory. Hospital representatives presented the Ruholl’s with a certificate about the paver, which will be placed this spring.
Executive Director of Nursing Operations Bobbi Kinkelaar expressed the hospital’s appreciation to the Ruholl’s for their donation to the Women and Infants Center. “We are so grateful that the Ruholl’s have chosen to offer comfort to others facing the same tragic loss through this CuddleCot donation. This will allow us to give parents and families the time they need to be able to say goodbye to their precious one,” she said. “We can’t thank Tasha and Dustin and Madison’s Miracles enough for the consolation that this will bring other families in the future.”
For more information on the Cuddle Cot and Madison’s Miracles, please visit madisonsmiracles.org. For more information about HSHS St. Anthony’s Women and Infants Center, visit St. Anthony’s Web site at stanthonyshospital.org/baby.