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CuddleCot™ Donation to Stafford Hospital Helps Parents Through Child Loss

CuddleCot™ Donation to Stafford Hospital Helps Parents Through Child Loss

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 unfortunate time.”

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 Healthcare.

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,

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 providing care regardless of ability to pay. For more information about our services and facilities, visit

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