‘Staff and families will remember this baby’: Baby Ashtyn’s legacy lives on through Cuddle Cot donation at Westmead Hospital

The impact of Ashtyn Robert Michael Eckersley’s too-short life will be felt for years to come by families across western Sydney following the generous donation of a Cuddle Cot from his family to the Westmead Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Ashtyn was born in April this year at Westmead Hospital in Western Sydney Local Health District, but tragically demised at less than a day old due to a condition diagnosed antenatally.

For parents Jamie and Bonnie, the Cuddle Cot is a particularly poignant donation as it will allow families in a similarly devastating situation a chance to spend extra time and say goodbye to their baby.

“We’re hope ideally that the Cuddle Cot never needs to be used, but if it does, we hope that it provides comfort to another family.”

The money for the Cuddle Cot was raised by their family and friends in less than a week, and the Eckersley family made the trip from the Central Coast to hand over the donation in person.

Cuddle Cots are a fantastic piece of equipment that allows a family to sit with their baby for up to five days after its passing. The cot has a cooling system which prolongs the time the baby can stay with the family.

“This is an incredibly important piece of equipment,” Nurse Manager NICU John Whittaker said.

“It will help assist families for lots of years to come and offer a memory that the family can cherish for an even longer time.”

The donated Cuddle Cot also has a special inscription on the hood of the bassinet and the box, dedicated to Ashtyn.

Head of Neonatology, Melissa Luig, said that this touching tribute to Ashtyn’s legacy will provide comfort to families in the heartbreaking event that the Cuddle Cot is needed.

“This gift will be treasured in the unit and the staff will remember this baby, who spent his life at Westmead Hospital with us,” she said.