Contact: Alaina Winship
Crystal Wagner, a former patient, and her husband Shawn, experienced a tragic loss with the stillborn birth of their child in October of 2011 at Capital Region Medical Center.
Crystal delivered Blake Wagner on October 16, just four days before her due date. She and her husband held Blake as long as they could while a professional photographer came and captured the precious moments they were able to share. Crystal has shared her family’s story publicly and has said while they were thankful for the time they had, “it just wasn’t enough.”
The wish for more time transformed into a desire to help others who will suffer the same loss in the future. Crystal and Shawn began to raise funds for the purchase of a Cuddle Cot. The CuddleCot system, made by Flexmort, cools the departed newborn to a temperature that is ideal for preservation but is still comfortable for the parents. This allows grieving mothers to keep their babies in their hospital room for the duration of their stay. Without this system, medical staff must transport the infant back and forth to the morgue for cooling in between family visits.
The Wagners established the Blake Wagner Foundation with a significant goal in mind – to “supply Missouri hospitals with CuddleCots to give grieving parents of stillborn babies, like Blake, the gift of time. Time to hold them, take pictures, meet family and friends, but most importantly, time to heal.” On April 23, 2021, CRMC received the very first CuddleCot placement acquired through the Blake Wagner Foundation from generous donations. This donation will surely provide comfort to grieving parents for years to come.