The name of Marquee Miller-Roussin’s son, Lennox, will live on through a donation that gives northern families the gift of time.
Lennox was born October 8, 2015. “He died during childbirth,” shared Miller-Roussin. “Obviously it was unexpected and the hospital wasn’t overly prepared. They don’t get a lot of stillbirths. They did the best they could in the situation. It was handled well, but now we know a lot more.”
Five months after Lennox died, Miller-Roussin learned about the Cuddle Cot, which is an in-room cooling unit that can be used with a bassinet, keeping an infant’s body cool. This prolongs the amount of time a family can have for bonding and care.
For Lennox’s second birthday, Miller-Roussin decided to start fundraising for a Cuddle Cot for Dryden, which the family donated to Dryden Regional Health Centre in January 2018. “We went in with the goal of one cuddle coat and we quickly surpassed that goal, and then some,” said Miller-Roussin.
They decided to keep going and ultimately raised enough money for a Cuddle Cot in Kenora and in Sioux Lookout, where families from the northern catchment area will also benefit from the cot. Lennox’s grandmother, Pam Miller, said that with the number of births in Sioux Lookout there could be more families using the cot at Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre.
Whether a baby is born premature or stillborn, she said, it’s important to give people time with the child, noting that northern patients may want to wait for family to arrive, something the Cuddle Cot could help effect. “We’re coming out of the age where people say forget about it,” said Miller.
“That’s not how you deal with grief and loss. We’re learning how to help people with situations like this.”
In Sioux Lookout, Dryden, and Kenora, Lennox’s name is etched proudly onto a plaque in remembrance of him, and every other baby gone too soon. “My son’s not here to speak his name,” she said.
“It’s for someone to read that and say, wow, we’re not the only ones; for the family to know him. ”