ABC Action News has learned Lori Esteve with Stories of Babies Born Still (S.O.B.B.S), who we originally interviewed as part of this story, has been charged with several felonies— including Scheme to Defraud, Engage in the Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Without Registration, Violation of Disclosure Requirements and Duties of Charitable Organizations and Failure to Properly Apply Charitable Funds. Because of the charges, we have removed a link to the Stories of Babies Born Still Facebook page.
LAKE WALES, Fla. — A teenager in Polk County is working to raise awareness and funds for cooling cradles after his little brother was stillborn.
Xavier Ignatious Koloc’s would have turned 10 next week.
His entire family will be celebrating by bringing out photos and talking about what the infant could have grown up to look like.
Would he have looked like his five older brothers? Or different from the rest?
For Diana Koloc, talking about Xavier will always hurt but says she thinks about her stillborn son just as much as her five living boys. She teaches her sons to do the same.
“I just realized he wasn’t moving,” Koloc said.
Koloc sat down with ABC Action News and explained that she had a healthy pregnancy. When she was nearing her due date, she realized Xavier wasn’t hiccuping or kicking as usual.
The usual orange juice or chocolate milk trick wasn’t working so she went to the hospital. Doctors there confirmed that her full-term baby’s cord had wound tight around his neck, cutting off the blood supply.
“He was gone, but he was so beautiful,” Koloc said, sharing pictures of Xavier. And he was beautiful, almost like a doll.
Ten years later and Xavier’s story is living on through his big brother Maximus,14.
“My mom wanted more time to spend with him because his body started to decompose,” Maximus said.
Maximus would have been just under 4 at the time of his baby brother’s death. He says he doesn’t remember much.
Growing up he’s learned it’s been a rough road for his parents, as well as other moms and dads who are suffering in silence.
“We are raising money to give parents more time to say goodbye to their babies,” Maximus’ mission statement says.
His goal is to raise $50,000 in order to buy Cenotaph Cradles for hospitals in the area. Each cradle costs more than $4,000.
ABC Action News found out there are less than five cooling cradles like this across all of Central Florida and the Tampa Bay Area, including all neighboring counties.
We spoke with hospitals who tell us they either didn’t know of the technology, said the $4,000 cribs were not in their budget or that policies prohibited keeping stillborn babies on the floor longer than four hours.
Stories of Babies Born Still (S.O.B.B.S) tells ABC Action News that certain area hospitals have even turned away their donations because of such policies.
“We have also heard that some have done different kind of training that recommends to pack the baby in ice or cold rice bags and in this day and age that is so archaic. I mean, we can do better,” Lori Esteve with S.O.B.B.S said.
Although, many hospitals in the Tampa Bay area say they would gladly take the donation if given the opportunity.
Maximus’ goal will challenge those standards, hoping hospitals will choose to give grieving parents more time with their babies.
That's a chance Diana says she wishes she would've had.
“I would have loved to have another day, cause when he’s gone — he’s gone,” she said.
Maximus Koloc is currently planning a 5K race in the Polk County area to raise funds for the cooling cradles.