December 19, 2017
The Ardent Foundation's First Cuddle Cot Donation
Local Nonprofit Gives The Gift of Time to Families Mourning this Christmas
The Ardent Foundation donated the first CuddleCot™ to Ochsner Medical Center, Baton Rouge
on December 19th as part of the campaign.
BATON ROUGE, LA -- December 27, 2017 – On Tuesday, December 19th, The Ardent Foundation celebrated its kick-off campaign “CuddleCots™ for Cason” by donating the first of five CuddleCots™ to hospitals in need. Ochsner Medical Center, Baton Rouge was the first recipient of this incredible technology, a cooling system that preserves stillborn babies while their parents grieve. During a special ceremony with a team of Ochsner nursing staff, management and executives, Co-Founders Mandy Ducote and Candace Saltaformaggio Muller presented the CuddleCot™ in memory of Ducote’s late son, Cason Cole Ducote, who would have celebrated his fifth birthday on the same day.
Providing families time using the CuddleCot™ is one of the core missions of The Ardent Foundation. The CuddleCot™ is internationally encouraged by midwives, bereavement practitioners, still birth/neonatal charities, and academics. Developed by Flexmort, this technology allows families time to form an important bond with their baby, and can provide hours or days for parents to take photos, make plaster molds, and snuggle their babies in situations when this would otherwise be impossible.
The U.S. first adopted the CuddleCot™ in 2013. Since then, more and more are tuning in after hearing its praises and seeing the overwhelming popularity abroad with more than 95% of UK hospitals implementing this technology. At last count, only 5 hospitals in the state of Louisiana are outfitted with a CuddleCot™, and Ochsner became the 6th. The Ardent Foundation is committed to changing that statistic. Each CuddleCot™ cost approximately $3,000, and many hospitals facing budget cuts are not able to provide this crucial service for their patients.
In the story of Colten and Mandy Ducote, they only had 34 hours with Cason while he was on life support in the NICU. During this time, they soaked up every moment they had with him, something she feels was crucial in their grief journey.
"Because we had that time with Cason, we could hold him, sing to him, pray over him, memorize his sweet little face, and take photos with him. Those are the memories -- both tangible and intangible -- that help me cope with our loss. I often look at our precious photos and feel like I have a piece of him still with me."
Following this unthinkable tragedy, it became Ducote’s mission to help other families that found themselves in a similar situation but without the option of time. "You just never expect that this could happen to you, and then it does. What we are trying to do with the "CuddleCots™ for Cason" campaign is to ensure hospitals have this critical medical device for parents who don't even know they need it yet. Because by the time you need it and realize you don't have access to one, it's too late,” says Ducote.
The Ardent Foundation is currently working to raise awareness of the “CuddleCots™ for Cason” campaign and are seeking the help of the community to support this mission by donating funds toward the purchase of four additional CuddleCots™ in honor of Cason’s memory by the end of 2017. Ducote and Muller are on a mission to get CuddleCots™ in to every hospital and will continue to implement new initiatives in the years ahead to support their mission, while also supporting families currently receiving care in local NICUs across the state.
For more information or to support The Ardent Foundation through donation and volunteering, please visit: https://theardentfoundation.com
About The Ardent Foundation:
The Ardent Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and education of NICU families and those who have experienced infant loss. The organization was founded in November 2017 by two mothers who channeled the grief and pain of their own experiences with NICU care and infant loss to help others in their time of need. Providing families time using the CuddleCot™ is one of the core missions and first initiatives of The Ardent Foundation.
Olivia Saltaformaggio Habibi, Director of Public Relations of The Ardent Foundation
Mandy Ducote, Co-Founder of The Ardent Foundation
Candace Saltaformaggio Muller, Co-Founder of The Ardent Foundation