Personal tragedy prompts generosity and hope

Vicky Maiorca and James Maiorca have raised $19,000 dollars to purchase cuddle cots.

Blacktown Hospital has been gifted two cuddle cots by a couple who only recently lost their first child in tragic circumstances.

Vicky and James Maiorca had earlier donated one of the cots to Wollongong Private Hospital.

Vicky’s baby boy, Christian James, was stillborn on February 8.

A cuddle cot allowed the couple to spend four days with their son

“It’s once they’re taken away you feel that grief hit home,” Vicky said.

That grief has been channeled into something positive, with the Maiorca’s raising enough money to buy three cuddle cots.

Blacktown Hospital’s Birthing and Maternity Unit and its Women’s Health Ward each received one recently.

Through crowd funding, the couple raised $19,000 via Bears of Hope, a pregnancy and infant loss support not-for-profit, in order to honour their son.

“His life was only brief but hopefully he has impacted a lot of families in a positive way,” Vicky said.

The money raised purchased three cuddle cots, which cost $6000 each and come with their own special cooling system.

Vicky and James’ world was turned upside down when Vicky went for an ultrasound, just days before a scheduled caesarean.

“We were in total shock and disbelief that this could happen so late at the end of the pregnancy at 38 weeks,” Vicky said.

The couple was given access to a cuddle cot to help them cope with what Vicky describes as a ‘horrific and devastating journey’ – the loss of a child.

“We had to make as many memories and spend as much time with him that we could,” she said.

“Reading nursery rhymes, to singing lullabies, everything that we could possibly do, and to have him in our room next to us you know, to feel like we were parents.

“You don’t feel like you are grieving, you just feel like you are a united family and the bond is there, they are with you, so the grief isn’t, I don’t think as strong initially, spending that time with the baby,” Vicky said.

Michelle Gallagher, Nurse Unit Manager of Women’s Health, has praised the Maiorca’s courage.

“This generous donation gives other parents a memorable opportunity to prolong their last moments together with their baby,” she said.