Colorado cops form cuddle crew for premature baby

November 28, 2017
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Axel Winch, a premature baby, needed lots of miracles.

He was only 29 weeks at birth.

“They let us know he had all sorts of issues genetically, physically to the point where the news was pretty devastating,” said Adam Winch, Axel’s dad. “He was in for probably a lifetime of issues medically. They’re still not sure what all of it is.”

Axel was flown from Grand Junction to Children’s Hospital Colorado on August 1, 2017.Axel was hospitalized in Children’s Hospital Colorado on August 1, 2017. Then, he had been treated at NICU for a few months.

“He’s completely a mystery baby to this NICU,” Winch said. “It is world-class, still trying to figure it all out. There’s a lot of different theories, but they’re not sure exactly what it is yet.”

Axel’s parents were so scared because he has to take many surgeries and treatment. However, he proved that miracles do exist.

“Axel has died in our arms multiple times,” Winch said. “His nurses have saved his life. We have watched miracle after miracle.”

Axel has to stay in the hospital for weeks.
Finally, his mom has to go back to work as a police officer and his dad has to run his own business.

Leaving is heartbreaking,” said mom Melissa Winch. “The first time we left, I cried not all the way home, but the majority of the way home. It’s terrible.”

But Axel wouldn’t be alone.

“I didn’t want him to be alone,” said Sgt. Mike Pitrusu, who is in charge of Aurora Police Department’s Employee Support and Wellness unit. “[I] came up with the idea that we would set up basically a watch, that we would have officers sign up for times to come in here and spend time with Axel.”

Aurora Police said that nearly 20 officers took care of Axel during the days his parents couldn’t be with him.

“Somebody called it the cuddle watch,” Pitrusu said. “I don’t know where that came from. I think we probably would’ve come with something tougher. We’ll go with cuddle watch.”

Aurora PD stepped in to help the family when they heard that the son of a fellow police officer was seriously ill. All the employees visited the family and raised fun for them. One detective even let them stay in her home.

APD said this was a start of a lifelong friendship.

“I think it was a win-win for both Axel and the officers that came in here,” he added.

“When you look down inside the heart and soul of a police officer, they’re there because of love,” Winch said. “They showed the very best side of that here, every day.”

Now there’s a new problem. Not for Axel this time, but for his parents.

They’ve kind of spoiled our boy now,” Axel’s mom Melissa said. “He just wants to be held all the time now.”

Melissa and Adam are OK with that…

“We don’t know what the future holds yet, but right now he’s happy and healthy for us,” the couple said.

Axel went home recently and for the baby boy who needed miracles, that just might be the best one.

One small problem with Axel going home? .

The officers need another baby to cuddle.

“We almost need to set up a cuddle watch for Children’s Hospital, just give the opportunity to come in and take care of the little ones,” Pitrusu said

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