‘Cuddle crew' of cops comforts premature baby, gives relief to parents

AURORA, Colo. — To protect, serve and cuddle. That’s the new mantra for police officers in Aurora, Colorado.

Aurora Police Department officers stepped in to help a newborn baby who was born premature at 29 weeks, KGW reported.

Axel Winch lived at Children's Hospital Colorado neonatal intensive care unit for weeks starting Aug. 1 as doctors treated genetic and his physical issues.

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Axel has had surgeries and other procedures to diagnose all that is wrong.

"Axel has died in our arms multiple times," Axel's father Adam told KGW.

Over the weeks, Axel’s parents had to eventually go back to work. His mother is a police officer and his father is a former officer who owns a business.

"Leaving is heartbreaking," Melissa Winch told KGW. "The first time we left, I cried not all the way home, but (the) majority of the way home. It's terrible."

Their brothers in blue stepped in to help.

Aurora police had almost 20 officers sign up for the cuddle watch to hold Axel during the times his parents weren’t able to be at the NICU.

The Cuddle Watch

Axel's parents stayed by his side in the NICU for months after he was born, but they eventually had to go back to work. Aurora Police didn't want him to be alone, so they formed the "cuddle watch."

Posted by 9NEWS (KUSA) on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The cuddle crew also raised money for the family, visited with them and even opened their homes to the Winch family, KGW reported.

Axel was recently discharged and went home for the first time.

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

Axel’s release has proven to be a slight problem for his law enforcement extended family. They’re arms are empty now and are looking for another baby to hold.

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

Axel is also missing his uniformed caregivers.

"They've kind of spoiled our boy now," Melissa told KGW. "He just wants to be held all the time now."