Dean Clinic nurse raises funds to help other grieving families- Dean - WI

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Published on August 05, 2016

Dean Clinic nurse raises funds to help other grieving families

(JANESVILLE) - ​​Dean Clinic Janesville – East LPN Jackie Harwick and her husband Garick lost their son Jack on Sept. 12, 2015, five weeks before his due date. A placental abruption deprived Jack of oxygen and resulted in a stillbirth.

"After almost nine months of pregnancy, we only had five hours with him before we needed to say goodbye," Jackie says. "I had no time to even process what happened."
Although Jackie says she knows that having more time with Jack would not have eliminated their grief, it might have helped to ease the shock they felt at his sudden loss.
That's why she and her husband decided to raise funds to support local families who experience a similar loss. Their goal is to provide area hospitals with a cooling device known as a Cuddle Cot that can help to preserve an infant's body for hours after death to help families deal with bereavement.

A simple device, the Cuddle Cot is a quiet cooling system with a cooling pad that can be placed in any bassinette to allow a baby's body to be preserved right in a hospital room so family members can spend more time with their infant.

"My husband had seen an article about Cuddle Cots, which are manufactured in Britain, and looked online to see if hospitals in the area had them," Jackie says. Neither Mercy Hospital, where Jackie delivered, nor St. Mary's Janesville Hospital had the cooling equipment, so the family decided it would donate a unit for each hospital.

In February, the Harwicks formed a nonprofit organization called the Jack Pack and set up a crowd-sourced funding page to tell their story. They also made custom T-shirts and held a bowling event to raise money, Jackie says. In June, they had enough to donate a Cuddle Cot to Mercy Hospital.

In late July, the Harwicks were able to present their second Cuddle Cot to St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital. Family Birth Suites Director Stacy McNall told the family how grateful she and her team were for the gift. “We hope we never have to use it,” Stacy says. “But we are thankful to know it will be available for families should it be needed.”

The Jack Pack has already raised $13,070 toward its goal of $20,000, and Jackie says the family hopes to identify more area hospitals that might welcome donation of a Cuddle Cot.​​

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