By Helena Adeloju
Gratitude for the comfort a cuddle cot provided when her daughter Evie was stillborn has inspired Officer mother Jess Jolliffe to hold a boot camp fundraiser this Sunday, 26 March.
Jess was devastated when her first pregnancy ended with stillbirth in September 2015.
“Not once did I imagine we would have to say hello and goodbye all at the same time,” Jess said.
On that heartbreaking day, Jess and her husband Adrian were grateful that St John of God in Berwick had a cuddle cot available.
A cuddle cot is a cooling system which is designed to fit within a small cot and it allows babies who have passed away to remain with their families, rather than being cooled in a mortuary.
Jess and Adrian are “forever thankful” for the time they had with Evie.
“We were able to get to know our beautiful little angel, make as many little memories as possible and have our little girl with us for as long as we needed,” Jess said.
“We shared the only night we would ever have sleeping next to our little girl.”
Now Jessica is determined to raise awareness and give hope to others who find themselves in the same situation.
“All expectant parents believe they will take their baby home, but six families a day in Australia won’t get that chance,” Jess said.
Late last year Jessica and Adrian started Cuddles From Evie, a charity dedicated to raising funds to purchase cuddle cots for hospitals.
“Before having Evie I had so much hope for her future. Now my only hope is that her memory lives on,” Jess said.
The current campaign aims to raise $12,000, to purchase two cuddle cots for two Victorian hospitals.
“Monash Hospital will be taking one cuddle cot and the Cohuna Hospital near Echuca will be taking the second one,” Jess said.
Sunday’s family fundraiser at Beaconsfield Netball Club will help raise the funds.
There is something for everyone in the scheduled activities with boot camp sessions to be led by Slick Fit in Berwick and plaster painting supplied by All 4 Mess in Pakenham.
“There will be a kids’ boot camp, a meta fit session, an adult boot camp, face painting, cup cake decorating, plaster painting, giant Jenga, giant Connect 4, giant Naughts and Crosses, a raffle, silent auction and a sausage sizzle,” Jess said.
The boot camp fundraiser will begin at noon and run through until 3.30pm.
Tickets for full access to all activities are $15 per person or $20 per family.
“We hope to see you for a great day out,” Jess said.
To donate to Cuddles From Evie visit https://cuddlecots.gofundraise.com.au/page/JessJolliffe.