Beth and Chris Clement, the parents of Theodore Jude Clement (“Teddy”), who was born still on November 21, 2015, donated four Cuddle Cots and a memorial plaque in memory of their late child to the Maternity Units of each Main Line Health acute care hospital (Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital) during a ceremony at Lankenau Medical Center on June 11. In partnership with Stories of Babies Born Still (SOBBS), the Clement family was able to raise funds for the Cuddle Cots, devices about the size of a humidifier disguised inside of a Moses basket that help to slow down the body’s natural decomposition process, giving families of stillborn babies the ability to spend more time with their child.
“By supplying Cuddle Cots to each of Main Line Health’s maternity units, the Clement family is helping to make a difference in the lives of other families who are experiencing the loss of their child,” said Margie Iacobacci, Vice President of Patient Services at Lankenau Medical Center. “Often in health care, there are moments when our patients teach us, and remind us of why we followed this calling… and this is one of those moments. Not only does their donation offer a tangible remembrance of their son Teddy, but their strength and selfless commitment to helping others in Teddy’s name is an inspiration to all of us.”
During the ceremony, Chris Clement recounted the days leading up to Teddy’s birth, sharing with guests in attendance the process of choosing a name for their third child. “When we began the daunting process of choosing a name—or names since we did not know the gender—for our third child, we went through many, many choices,” said Chris. “We kept coming back to Theodore Jude as the name for a boy…Teddy.” Chris added, “The name Jude always evoked the famous Beatles song, ‘Hey Jude’ where Paul McCartney sings ‘Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better.’ And that is exactly what today is all about, taking a sad song, a sad situation, and making it infinitely better.”
Beth Clement went on to say, “While we will never be able to accept Teddy's death as anything other than a senseless tragedy, that's no longer the focus for us. Instead, when we think of our sweet boy, we think of his legacy and the impact that he has had already and that he will continue to have in our community as these Cuddle Cots that bear his name provide support and comfort to other families like us. And that makes us so proud.”
About one in every 160 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth, and about 200 of the nearly 5,700 hospitals in the U.S. offer Cuddle Cots. Beth and Chris Clement’s donation was made through their partnership with SOBBS, whose mission is to have a Cuddle Cot in every hospital in the United States, allowing families more quality time with their child. This gift of time that the Cuddle Cots allow offers precious hours for bonding and for other family members to come and meet the baby.