Sentara Norfolk General, 600 Gresham Drive, Norfolk, VA 23507
Kennedy’s Angel Gowns, a non-profit organization, contributed $50,000 to the Sentara Foundation to build the Butterfly Room at Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. The Butterfly Room is a 12-foot by 10-foot private bereavement space for grieving parents who experience perinatal loss. The room is the first of its kind in the state. It provides a comfortable and serene setting where parents can hold, connect, and create lasting memories with their babies.
The founders of Kennedy’s Angel Gowns, Heather and Demitri Wilson, created the non-profit after their daughter Kennedy was delivered stillborn after 25 hours of labor in 200. Heather found comfort in stitching beautiful burial gowns for other infant girls and boys. Kennedy’s life has inspired hope and healing for many families. The Butterfly Room plaque acknowledges the organization’s generous support.
The room is in the administrative area, providing privacy for grieving patients and families at Norfolk General. The Cuddle Cot™ is a unique cooling device that helps preserve a baby for several days, giving bereaved parents more time to stay with their infant. Parents usually have only minutes to hours without the device to say goodbye. The extra time gifted to parents promotes emotional healing and helps them through grief.
The official ceremony and dedication of the Butterfly Room were held on August 14, 2019, with family, close supporters, and hospital staff present. Andrea West, the project manager at Sentara, shared a story of a young man who received closure by sitting in the room before it was officially opened.
Approximately 25 infants rest briefly in the Butterfly Room at Sentara Norfolk General each month. The room provides comfort, solace, and healing for parents who have experienced perinatal loss. The Butterfly Room is a valuable contribution to the hospital and community.