Cuddle Cot in Honor of Lydie

For: Lydia Joanne
Columbus, OH
Organizer: Heather Johnston-Welliver
of $5,000 goal.
Raised by 62 donors
69% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

On November 6, 2014, our daughter Lydia Joanne was born still after 34 weeks of perfectly uneventful pregnancy.  After hours and hours of labor, we learned Lydie had died from an umbilical cord accident. We got to spend only one afternoon with our daughter, counting her ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes, reading to her Wherever You Go, My Love will Find You, wrapping her in the blanket her mama made her, kissing her and telling her how much we love her over and over again.

We will always wish for more time.

To honor Lydie on her first birthday, we are fundraising to provide a “cuddle cot” to St. Ann’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where she was born. Cuddle Cots provide parents of stillborn babies with the "gift of time."  A Cuddle Cot is a cooling system, which is placed inside a bassinet.  This allows parents to keep their baby in the hospital room for as long as they want, creating a lifetime of memories in a short period of time.  

The unfortunate truth is that there is a need for these Cuddle Cots as 1 out of every 160 pregnancies in the United Sates ends in stillbirth. That's 26,000 babies in the United States every year.  

We appreciate everything that you have done in the past ten months to support our family, and thank you in advance for helping us make a difference in Lydie’s honor.  

With love, 
Justin Welliver and Heather Johnston-Welliver

To read more of Lydie's story, go to

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 7, 2015

Posted on November 7, 2015

Yesterday, on Lydie's first birthday, we gathered at St. Ann's Hospital in Westerville, Ohio to present the Cuddle Cot.  It was so meaningful to be there, with the nurses who delivered both Lydia and Josephine and who have become so very special to our family.  They surprised us by having a little birthday for Lydie as well, with presents, cake, and singing, and although we miss Lydie fiercely, it was a happy occasion.  

The hospital staff is so grateful for this gift.  Although we wish it never had to be used, other families will be so grateful as well.  We have also written a letter of support to be given to each family.

Although we have donated the Cuddle Cot, we are still accepting donations.  Additional funds will be used for other items for families with a stillborn child, like memory cards for digital images of photos and Moses baskets for each family to use and take home.  We will continue to work with the hospital staff to help them support bereaved parents.

Posted on October 23, 2015

Posted on October 23, 2015

Thanks to all your generous donations, the Cuddle Cot in honor of Lydia Joanne Welliver will be presented to St. Ann's Hospital on her first birthday, November 6, 2015.  

During our stay at St. Ann's for the healthy birth of our third child, Josephine, we had the opportunity to discuss the use of the Cuddle Cot with the nursing staff who were with us when Lydie was born.  They are so grateful that other families will have this transformative gift.  We also discussed stillbirth and infant loss and how grieving families can be better supported.  We plan to include a note for every family that uses the Cuddle Cot; it will tell Lydia's story and offer them support as they begin the horrific journey of child loss.

Meanwhile, our Cuddle Cot campaign in honor of Lydie has inspired several other campaigns across the US and Canada.  Our girl continues to change others' lives for the better.

Again, we thank you so much for your generous support. Thank you for helping us honor Lydie on her first birthday and make this the unbearable situation of stillbirth a little bit more bearable for other families.

Posted on September 16, 2015

Posted on September 16, 2015

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  

In 8 days, we have met our goal of $3000 and have raised enough money to donate one Cuddle Cot to St. Ann's Hospital in honor of Lydie.  We are beyond grateful to each of you for your support of our family and other families who are forced to endure the devastation of stillbirth.  

However, we're still happy to accept your donations as we are working with other families in to get more Cuddle Cots in other Ohio hospitals.  Any remaining funds will be dedicated to the purchase of other Cuddle Cots. 

We will be reaching out to thank each of you individually, but please know that we are so grateful for your support.  We will let you know when the Cuddle Cot will be donated in Lydia's honor.  We are also making plans with the hospital to educate others on infant loss and how to best support grieving families.  Thank you for helping us to make a difference.  

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