Woodworker makes bench out of stillborn baby's crib for grieving woman

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News

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The bench Kumpula made for Watts (KMPS-TV)


Here's a local story of a stranger's unexpected act of kindness that is sure to tug at your heartstrings and moisten your tear ducts, especially on Mother's Day.

Valerie Watts of Cokato, Minnesota, suffered a miscarriage last summer when her son's umbilical cord became pinched inside the womb, resulting in a stillbirth.

"All week, I knew," Watts told KMSP-TV of the days leading up to the stillbirth. "He wasn't moving as much. I was very nervous."

Months after his death, Watts was still grieving and hesitant to part with the crib she had prepared for his arrival. But she reluctantly agreed to sell it to Gerald Kumpula, a local woodworker who had spotted it at a garage sale last month at Watts' home.

"When he asked me if I was selling that, that he made benches, I hesitated," Watts explained. "His wife was there looking through my garage sale — at some of the baby clothes — and asked how old my son was since I don't use the crib anymore, and I told her that he had passed in July."

Kumpala and his wife decided to convert the crib into a bench in honor of Watts' stillborn son. “We decided on our way home that, you know, this bench is going back," he said.

A week later, they returned with the repurposed crib as a gift to Watts.

"I started crying instantly," Watts said. "It's amazing, and there's good people out there ... there's proof."

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