Eureka, CA (May 24th, 2018) – In April of 2008, Staci and Andrew Neuman of Fortuna, were expecting
the arrival of their first child. Stationed at Camp Pendleton for Andrew’s
military service, the young couple anxiously prepared for their new role
as parents. However, the night before her doctor’s appointment to
have the baby measured, Staci, 37 weeks pregnant, did not feel well. The
next morning she woke and new right away something wasn’t right.
At her appointment, the doctor confirmed their worst fears – their
child, Gunnar, had passed in the womb.
Devastated and overcome with grief, the couple were given a teddy bear
to aid in the grieving process by the local hospital staff in Vista, CA.
At first, Staci wasn’t ready. The frustration and pain of why this
happened to them was hard to overcome, yet over time she was drawn to
the bear, or “Comfort Cub”, and found it helped her begin
the healing process.
“When something like this happens, you leave empty-handed,”
explained Staci. “Your dreams and expectations are dashed. While
not a replacement, the “Comfort Cub” really helped to have
something to touch and to hold. It was a start to help us deal with the
loss of Gunnar.”
Comfort Cubs are specially weighted and are intended to feel like holding
a newborn. While the initial intent of The Comfort Cub was for child loss,
evidence shows it provides profound relief for any traumatic event, such
as loss of a spouse, parent, loved one or pet.
To honor Gunnar’s passing and to commemorate what would have been
his 10th birthday, the couple has decided to give back and make Comfort
Cubs available to parents on the North Coast who are dealing with a similar
loss. With the help of both of their families, the Neumans have purchased
and donated 12 Comfort Cubs to the Childbirth Center at St. Joseph Hospital
“We are so grateful to the Neumans and their amazing parents,”
said Karen Lewis, nurse director, obstetrics at St. Joseph Health, Humboldt
County. “This gift is one more method we have to provide comfort
and care to families who have suffered a loss and to generate healing.
The hospital and our community are blessed to be the recipients of this
For Andrew, he knows firsthand the impact that a Comfort Cub can have on
a family and he wants to make sure others receive the same help recovering
from the loss of a child as Staci did.
“To see her have something that she could take home and allow her
to begin the recovery process, was very comforting.”
The Neumans plan to support the Comfort Cub program at St. Joseph Hospital
in Eureka even after the original 12 bears have been distributed. Together
with the Foundation at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, the family invites
the community to support the program in the future. For more information,
contact Paul McGinty at (707) 269-4283.
About the Childbirth Center at St. Joseph Hospital Eureka
The Childbirth Center at St. Joseph Hospital offers quality patient care
and family-centered maternity services for Moms-to-be and their families,
as well as specialized safety features and the only Level II Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit on the north coast. At St. Joseph Hospital, we know
that pregnancy can bring loved ones together in beautiful new ways. That’s
why we offer family-centered maternity services. You can share the birth
of your baby with a labor partner, and with other special people in your
life, if your physician or midwife approves. Your entire family can participate
in the educational process if you wish. We also make a special effort
to prepare you for all aspects of having a baby. We believe it’s
important for you to know how the experience will affect you physically,
socially, and emotionally.
About Comfort Cubs
The Comfort Cub is the world's very first weighted therapeutic teddy
bear that was created by our founder Marcella Johnson in 1999 after her
infant son, George, passed away. She invented it to help other mothers
who were suffering from the loss of their child. The teddy bear is specially
weighted and is intended to feel like holding a newborn. While the initial
intent of The Comfort Cub was for child loss, evidence shows it provides
profound relief for any traumatic event. This includes having to leave
the hospital while your baby is still in the NICU, the loss of a spouse,
parent, loved one or pet. It has also been effective for occupational
& autism therapy, adoptions and those experiencing divorce. For more