Special Cot Helps Grieving Parents Make Memories

The Kent baby loss charity Abigail’s Footsteps has donated an Abi Cooling Cot to The Royal Bolton Hospital in memory of baby Austin.

Families who suffer the tragedy of stillbirth in the Greater Manchester area will be able to spend precious time with their baby at The Royal Bolton Hospital thanks to an  ‘Abi Cooling cot’ donated by the charity Abigail’s Footsteps.

The special cot was purchased with funds raised by the family and friends of stillborn baby Austin Nicholas Raymond.

Phil Raymond and Kristina Laundon’s son Austin Nicholas Raymond lost his fight for life on 11/11/2022 after just 17 weeks.

Austin’s father Phil Raymond said, “The care we received at The Royal Bolton Hospital was amazing and through an earlier donation of a cold cot we were able to spend more time with our son.  The gift of time is one we are so grateful for. The cold cot we used when Austin died had been donated in 2005 by a family who had sadly lost their baby girl Siobhan and we wanted to help Abigail’s Footsteps in their quest to ensure every hospital in the UK has an Abi Cooling Cot.”

Phil and Kristina raised money so they can pay forward the help that they received and have donated an Abi Cooling Cot to Bolton Royal Hospital Maternity Suite in Manchester in memory of their treasured son Austin.

Phil continued, “Having access to a cold cot allowed us to spend precious time with Austin.  We were able to hold him, his family and Grandparents were able to see him and take photos together and we were also able to get him blessed by the Chaplain.”

The Cooling Cot will be used in The Royal Bolton hospital’s Bereavement Suite which offers parents a safe and comfortable space to spend time with their baby and receive visits from family and friends.

Seema Kala, Specialist Bereavement Midwife, Princess Anne Maternity Unit, Royal Bolton Hospital said, “It was an absolute pleasure to meet the family and receive their generous donation. Cold cots provide parents the opportunity to spend precious time with their baby. Words cannot express the difference these cots make to our families. They enable the parents to keep their baby close with them and allows families the opportunity to make memories.”

Phil and Kristina said, “We have recently had the proud but also sad pleasure of being able to go and see our donated Abigail’s Footsteps Abi Cooling Cot in place at Bolton Royal Hospital where Austin’s name will forever be remembered.”

David Ward, Chief Executive, Abigail’s Footsteps, said, “Abigail’s Footsteps is committed to providing an Abi Cooling Cot to every hospital across the UK and we extend our heartfelt thanks to Phil and Kristina whose fundraising will give other bereaved parents the precious gift of additional time with their baby.”

To find out more about Abigail’s Footsteps visit www.abigailsfootsteps.co.uk and to discuss how you could help fundraise for an Abi Cooling Cot please contact faye.hill@abigailsfootsteps.co.uk

About the Abi Cooling Cot

Donations allow Abigail’s Footsteps to distribute  Abi Cooling cots  to hospitals across the country. The Abi Cooling Cot keeps the baby at a cooler temperature meaning that the child can stay with their parents for longer, giving families the chance to grieve and say goodbye in their own time.

The Abi Cot is produced by The Bond Group who are based in Sheerness, Kent and every donated cold cot includes an engraved plaque, in memory of a family’s loss.


About Abigail’s Footsteps

Abigail’s Footsteps is a Kent based baby loss charity providing support and counselling for bereaved parents and families as well as specialist bereavement training for midwives and healthcare professionals.

The charity was founded by parents Jo and David Ward following the death of their daughter Abigail Ward who was stillborn at 41 weeks.

Since 2010, they charity has worked to improve the way bereaved parents are cared for by hospitals and to better educate midwives about how to care for grieving parents. Sadly, stillbirths occur daily, yet many hospitals are not equipped to deal with the parental care required.

By working with medical professionals to understand the issues and seek solutions Abigail’s Footsteps has helped many families across the UK.