A family is thanking a fleet of police officers and first responders for cuddling their premature baby boy when they couldn’t be at the hospital with him.
Baby boy Axel Winch arrived at just 29 weeks. He was flown to Children’s Hospital Colorado on Aug. 1 and spend the next several months in the neonatal intensive care unit, KUSA reports. His parents say it wasn’t easy.
“Axel has died in our arms multiple times,” said dad Adam Winch. “His nurses have saved his life. We have watched miracle after miracle.”
Sargent Mike Pitrusu, head of the employee wellness unit, rallied officers to help baby Axel. One officer offered her home to the parents as a place to stay. Others delivered food the the family and raised money, enough to pay the bills for a month.
“Leaving is heartbreaking,” said Melissa. “The first time we left, I cried not all the way home, but majority of the way home. It’s terrible.”
“We were afraid he was going to die while we were gone,” Adam said.
But the group of officers weren’t going to let that happen. Pitrusu came up with the idea of “cuddle watch.” Police officers visited the hospital in shifts to make sure Axel was never along.
About 20 officers scheduled time around the clock to cuddle Axel, singing to him and talking to him.
Axel finally became strong enough to go home in November, thanks to his wide circle of friends. Now, his parents say, they’re facing a new problem.
“They’ve kind of spoiled our boy now,” said Melissa. “He just wants to be held all the time now.”
The Aurora police officers plan to continue their cuddle squad mission and visit other babies in need.
The family started a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical bills. If you would like to donate, click here or below: