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Acting Maternity Unit Manager Leece Lecciones, Clinical Midwifery Educator Margaret Binskin and Deputy Director of Nursing Katie Croad with Huxley’s dad, Harrison Bennett, and mum, Sophie Toneguzzi, who donated a Cuddle Cot to Kempsey District Hospital.

Sophie and Harrison’s gift to grieving parents

Dec 14, 2020

When Huxley Bennett passed away at just 20 weeks into his mum’s pregnancy, the generosity of complete strangers gave parents Sophie Toneguzzi and Harrison Bennett precious time with their son.

A Cuddle Cot gifted to John Hunter Hospital meant Sophie and Harrison, their daughter Eden, and other family members could meet Huxley and spend precious time with him before saying their goodbyes.

In memory of their beautiful boy, Sophie and Harrison decided to give other grieving parents the same opportunity, and focused their attention on Kempsey.

Through Bears of Hope, a pregnancy and infant loss support charity, the couple asked family, friends and strangers to contribute towards a $6500 Cuddle Cot for Kempsey District Hospital.

The cooling system and bassinet were presented this week to a grateful team of midwives at Kempsey District Hospital, all of whom understand Sophie and Harrison’s grief.

“I can’t imagine having a baby and then passing him over to someone else, without spending time with him,” Sophie said.

“We got to meet our son, and spend precious time with him, before saying our goodbyes.”

Acting Maternity Unit Manager Leece Lecciones was grateful for the gift, which she knows will help support grieving families.

“The cot is invaluable to us as we support parents at such a tragic time,” Ms Lecciones said.

“It is the toughest thing a parent will ever do – hand over their baby to someone else.

“This cot will give these parents an opportunity to spend precious time with their baby before saying goodbye, which is very important to their long-term emotional wellbeing.”

Sophie and Harrison chose Kempsey because it was the closest hospital in need of a Cuddle Cot to their Hunter Valley home.

“Now that we’ve visited the hospital and met the midwives, we are just so pleased we chose Kempsey,” Sophie said.

“We hope whoever finds comfort because of this cot will know it was gifted, not by strangers but by Huxley’s parents and their friends and family.”

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