The Kirk family poses for a photo with the donated Cuddle Cots.

On the day her son was due, Gracie Kirk was standing with her family in the lobby of Baptist-Tipton making a donation in his memory. 

Early into her pregnancy she found out her son, whom she named Kamdyn Ryder, had numerous heart problems. She delivered him on June 27, 14 weeks earlier than his Oct. 10 due date. 

The hospital had a Cuddle Cot, a sort of bassinet which was designed to keep stillborn infants cool so their family members can take their time with goodbyes. 


Gracie had 30 hours with her son before she was discharged from the hospital.

Through her pain, Kirk and her family wanted to honor Kamdyn’s memory. They have raised money to donate two Cuddle Cots to Baptist-Tipton, which will give other families the gift of time with their babies before saying goodbye forever. 

Gracie’s maternal-fetal medicine doctor surprised her at the event.

Enough money has been raised that they are almost able to purchase a third Cuddle Cot. 

It’s something the hospital hopes it won’t have to use, said administrator Parker Harris, but will have on hand when needed. 

For more information, or to help the Kirk family continue in its mission to raise money for the devices, see

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.