Baby Hospice 3 submitted Cori Salchert

A former nurse has found a new calling — caring for the terminally ill children that no one wants.

Often, the parents are too overwhelmed with serious medical conditions and give up the children at birth. Foster parents aren’t equipped either.


Cori Slachert has created her own “baby hospice” for these infants, inside the home she shares with her husband and where she’s raised their eight biological children.

Baby Hospice 2 submitted Cori Salchert

Emmalynn was the first Cori took in. Born without the right hemisphere of her brain and living only in a vegetative state, the little girl passed away quietly in Cori’s arms, “listening to my heartbeat,” she says, after just 50 days.

The experience, providing love to a baby whose life is so short, inspired her to continue serving.

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She took in Charlie next, when he was four-months-old. He was born with a life limiting condition that requires him to breathe through a tiny straw. He has been with her about a year, and is not expected to live through another one.

Baby Hospice 1 submitted Cori Salchert

Cori admits much of her “baby hospice” care is sad, but giving them love while they live is worth it to her.

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“What a gift it is to be a part of these babies’ lives,” Cori wrote in an online article for TODAY. “To have the ability to ease their suffering, to cherish and love them even though they aren’t able to give anything tangible back or even smile in return for our efforts.”

(READ more at TODAY) — Photos: Cori Slachert

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  1. I’m not sure how this family was overlooked in the CNN Hero awards but I will certainly nominate them next year. What a gift they are giving and receiving. I am so touched by this story and this family.

  2. We have a similar story here where I live in Regina, Canada. An amazing nurse began taking in terminally ill babies. She then opened a care home available to families for daycare and respite. Thank goodness for these amazing women.

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