February 17, 2021
Stafford, VA (February 17, 2021) – Stafford Hospital has acquired a contribution of a CuddleCot™,
adding to the range of comfort services offered to bereaved parents.
Despite the best efforts made by parents and physicians, and the accessibility
of technology, the loss of a child can still occur through miscarriage,
stillbirth, and neonatal death. A CuddleCot™ gives parents the choice
of having time with their baby.
“We are very pleased to acknowledge the gift of a CuddleCot™
from Ashlie’s Embrace and for the financial contributions made by
the Schlesinger family to make this gift possible,” said Debra Marinari,
Director of Nursing Operations & Practice, Stafford Hospital. “Parents
can spend time with their baby, form a bond, and say good-bye during this
The CuddleCot™ system is a specially designed bassinet with a quiet
cooling unit. The compact system allows for the baby to remain in the
same room with the parents. “This helpful option, in addition to
the care from our interdisciplinary team, will assist us to integrate
our care to bereaved families in a supportive and meaningful way which
may contribute to them finding a path of healing,” said Tammy Ruiz
Ziegler, BSN, RN, CPLC, Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator, Mary Washington
The donation was facilitated by Ashlie’s Embrace, an Ohio-based not-for-profit
with a mission to provide CuddleCots™ to U.S. hospitals so parents
have more time to hold their baby and say goodbye. After the founders
suffered a loss of their own, Ashlie’s Embrace has raised over $531,140
and has placed over 90 CuddleCots™ in 20 states.
The donation was made possible by financial contributions by Emily and
Mike Schlesinger and their family and friends. After Emily and Mike lost
their son Mason before he was born, a CuddleCot™ at their hospital
was instrumental in allowing the family the time they needed to say hello
and goodbye, especially since Mason’s grandparents were coming from
across the country. “I hope this system collects dust and it is
never used, but it was a God-send for our family in allowing us time with
Mason,” said Janice Schlesinger, grandmother to Mason.
For more information about Mary Washington Healthcare’s perinatal
bereavement services, visitMyBaby.mwhc.com.
About Mary Washington Healthcare
Mary Washington Healthcare is a fully integrated, regional medical system
that provides inpatient and outpatient care through over 50 facilities
including Mary Washington Hospital, a 471-bed regional medical center,
and Stafford Hospital, a 100-bed community hospital. Mary Washington Healthcare
is a not-for-profit health system with a longstanding commitment to provide
care regardless of ability to pay. For more information about our services
and facilities, visit mwhc.com.
About Ashlie’s Embrace
Ashlie’s Embrace, a registered 501(c)3 organization, was founded
in 2016 by Erin and Anthony Maroon after the loss of their full-term daughter,
Ashlie. Ashlie's Embrace provides comfort to grieving parents after
stillbirth or early infant loss by increasing awareness of CuddleCots™
and making them available to parents through medical facilities. For more
information about Ashlie’s Embrace, visit