Certified Medical Assistant Honors Daughter With Donation

Northwestern Medicine
Women's Health June 01, 2016
Medical Assistant Amy Schroeder
When Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group Certified Medical Assistant Amy Schroeder was pregnant with her first child, the unspeakable happened. Five months into the pregnancy – with no known cause – the infant died in utero, and Amy delivered her child stillborn, a daughter she named Adalyn Rose.
 
In the months that followed, Amy was introduced to a world that few people talk about, and in her grief, she found both support and strength. “This is a lot more common than I ever knew,” Amy says. “After I lost my daughter, people I didn’t even know were coming up to me and sharing their own stories of loss. After this happened, a whole new world opened up to me.”

Through her grief, Amy decided that she wanted to find a way to honor her daughter and to help other families who were experiencing a similar loss. She was able to do both through the donation of a CuddleCot to the Labor and Delivery unit at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital.

Coping with the loss of an infant can be devastating. Studies show that one of the best ways to ease that suffering is to help family members to create a bond – and memories – with their babies. Since body decomposition can begin within six hours of death, time is of the essence. CuddleCot is designed to give bereaved families more time with their babies. The mini cooling system uses a cooling pad placed in a basket, bassinet or crib to delay decomposition.

To raise the $3,200 needed to purchase the CuddleCot, Amy started an online donation page, and within two days, she had raised more than $1,000. She also hosted a candle fundraising event, and the 11-year-old daughter of Amy’s best friend from childhood helped her raise another $204 with a lemonade stand. Last December, Amy and her friend’s 11-year-old daughter delivered the CuddleCot to Central DuPage Hospital.

“I thought this would be something I could do to help other parents,” Amy explains. “As terrible as the loss of an infant is, the CuddleCot is a way to provide comfort. This is my way of honoring my daughter and helping other families grieve.”

Since December, Amy’s donation has helped nearly a dozen families at Central DuPage Hospital. “It was the sweetest and most generous donation to help our patients who have lost a baby and to remember her daughter, Adalyn Rose,” says Lisa Sullivan, MSN, RNC-OB, clinical director of Labor and Delivery and prenatal education.

On the CuddleCot Amy donated is a plaque inscribed with her daughter’s name, her due date and these words: If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

Thank you, Amy, for making an impact in the lives of the patients and families we serve.

Check out these NM Care Areas: