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West Texas mother starts fundraiser to buy medical device for local hospital

A Cuddle Cot provides grieving parents the gift of time with their baby
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 11:50 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - A young West Texan is raising money to buy a bedside cooling unit for Permian Regional Medical Center after she experienced the loss of her own child two years ago.

The medical device is called a cuddle cot. The device acts like a refrigerated bassinet and allows stillborn babies to stay in the hospital room with their parents for a longer period.

Sixteen-year-old Meghan Sanchez is fundraising to buy her local hospital a Cuddle Cot because she wants other parents to be able to spend as much time as they can with their baby. Sanchez shared her pregnancy story with CBS7.

“I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after my 14th birthday. And I know that’s pretty young, but babies are always blessings,” Sanchez said.

The West Texas teenager was excited to be a mother. Sanchez’s pregnancy was going well, and she was doing everything her doctor instructed for prenatal care. However, while 34 weeks pregnant, she couldn’t feel her baby move one day. Sanchez rushed to the hospital but doctors couldn’t find her baby’s heartbeat.

As Sanchez held up a plush animal that projects the sound of her baby’s heartbeat one evening during a Zoom interview, she recounted her thoughts after hearing the devastating news.

“I didn’t really believe it. I was so in shock. I didn’t really process it,” she said.

Doctors believe the umbilical cord got wrapped around her baby’s neck. There was nothing Sanchez could have done. Sanchez is heartbroken that she never got the chance to meet Malachi, her 8-pound, 7 ounce little boy.

“I was just in awe. That’s my baby. And it sucked because that was the first, and last time, that I saw him,” she said.

Meghan Sanchez and Malachi only got to spend a few hours together in this world.

“There’s a lot of things I wish I could have done with him, but I couldn’t. I wish I was able to tell him I loved him, and how much he meant to me. And I wish I was able to swing him,” she said.

Sanchez knows every minute counts when saying goodbye. And while the heartache never heals, she hopes her story will help raise awareness for pregnancy and infant loss.

The West Texan’s family is also involved in raising awareness. Meghan’s younger brother, Armando “Tres” Sanchez, has spent several weekend days riding his bicycle a total of 30 miles to raise awareness.

“We want to raise money for a cuddle cot. So that the moms and dads could see their baby for an extra 72 hours,” he said.

Meghan Sanchez hopes to raise around $3,000 to buy a Cuddle Cot for Permian Regional Medical Center. Sanchez said Malachi means messenger, and she hopes their message is heard in the community.

"His hands, and then his feet. He was my little angel. And his name also means “my messenger, so he was my little messenger,” she said.

Sanchez has started a Gofundme page to help raise money to purchase a Cuddle Cot for the hospital. Here is a link to the donation page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/eexvwr-cuddle-cot?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=sms&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

A donation account has also been set up at Brave National Bank in Iraan, Texas.

Once Meghan Sanchez reaches her goal, she hopes to continue fundraising so other hospitals in the Permian Basin can get cuddle cots too.

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