Helping bereaved families preserve the memory of an infant lost too soon

In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the JGH, Louna Kadoch (left), speaks with Nurse Clinican Lysette Guerineau.
In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the JGH, Louna Kadoch (left), speaks with Nurse Clinican Lysette Guerineau.

When a child dies during pregnancy or soon after birth, the pain can be overwhelming. But at the very least, the cherished memory of the infant can endure in a memory box distributed by the JGH perinatal team.

In a corridor at the JGH with a memory box, Nadine Fava (left) with Nurse Clinician Caroline Ball.
In a corridor at the JGH with a memory box, Nadine Fava (left) with Nurse Clinician Caroline Ball.

The boxes, delivered as part of a partnership between the hospital’s small but dedicated Perinatal Loss Committee and the With Love From Michael Foundation, are filled with mementos to help families keep the memory of their little one alive. So far, the non-profit charity has donated dozens of memory boxes for the JGH perinatal team to offer to bereaved families. 

Included are commemorative items such as a handprint and footprint kit, matching teddy bears for parents and baby, photo props and customized keepsakes. As well, the boxes contain information on grief resources and letters of support.

Co-chairs Social Worker Louna Kadoch and Nadine Fava, a Nursing Practice Consultant in the JGH Maternal-Child Health Unit, have been active on the committee since 2016, counselling the hospital’s perinatal teams on sensitively responding to the needs of patients who have experienced perinatal loss. They also direct parents to community resources and tools for additional support.