MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — One woman who recently had a fetal loss turned her grief into action and successfully raised thousands to donate a special cradle to Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.
Dena Iverson found out in April that her daughter, Cassie Jean Iverson, sadly would not survive.
“It wasn’t until later in the appointment that we found out that her heart had stopped and that we would have to deliver her and she would be stillborn," Iverson said.
Iverson started selling custom tumblers in hopes to raise money to buy a Caring Cradle, which is a small crib with a cooling system that preserves stillborn babies, so their parents have more time to say goodbye.
“I just decided I wanted to do something for other angel parents and angel babies," said Iverson.
She’s met others who have shared her experience and wanted to support her in the process.
Nicole Vansickle’s story is similar to Iverson’s.
In September, when she was 30 weeks pregnant, she found out that her baby boy no longer had a heartbeat.
“So we came in and prepared for the delivery process, which is extremely, extremely painful, and while we were here, we were gifted a basket that Dena and her family had put together," Vansickle said.
She decided she wanted to help Iverson, and they successfully raised $5,000 to donate the device to Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.
OB Nurse Manager Sandy Bosch said the cradle is the first of its kind at the hospital.
“It’s been a great addition to all the other tools that we have in the hospital, and it’s just nice to have more than one option to help these moms and families cope with the loss of an infant," she said.
Iverson said it’s important to give parents as much time to grieve as they need.
“That will allow parents and grandparents more time to say their hellos and their goodbyes with their baby and kind of make those lifetime memories," she said.