A hospital in Evanston, Illinois has a new addition to their "cuddling team" and he is the first male to join the group of volunteers.
Many babies have to spend time in the Infant Special Care Units around the United States. The babies aren't allowed to be at home with their families where they would be receiving love and snuggles around the clock. Due to their variety of illness and issues, they spend their time in the hospital. The special care units ask volunteers to be special cuddlers for the babies. Their job is to give individualized cuddles and attention to the babies in the unit.
Up until recently all of the volunteers in the cuddling program at Evanston Hospital have been women. Carl Magnussen, 67, has joined the cuddling team and is now their first male volunteer to participate in their program.
Magnussen decided that he wanted to be a volunteer for the program because he is retired and he loves little babies. He has a one-year-old grandson that he loves to hold and cuddle, but his grandson is far away and he doesn't get to see him as much as he would like. He got into the cuddling program because he wanted to give attention to the children who need a little bit extra love and snuggles. One of the children that he is responsible for cuddling is six-month-old Xavi Cronin. Xavi has underdeveloped lungs. The hard part about the situation is that Xavi is a twin. Her twin brother is perfectly healthy and didn't have to stay long in the NICU. Therefore, Elizabeth, the twin's mother, has to split her time with her children. She said that the doctors and nurses are amazing, but she really likes knowing that there are cuddlers there that their only job is to love on the babies.
Doctors and nurses are very busy while they are working. Their main focus is to make sure that the babies are healthy and are progressing as they should. Sadly, the nursing staff often do not have the time to focus on just loving the babies and cuddling them. Children need affection and that is why the cuddling program was developed.
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