There are no words to console a family who has lost a child. It is unimaginable, heartbreaking, and riddled with emptiness and helplessness.
A family from Washington has been thrown into this darkness by the death of their 7-month-old son, Sloan. In a vulnerable and shattering post, the mother, Jordan DeRosier, explained her son’s passing and warned other parents to not make her same mistake.
You never think it will happen to your own children or grandchildren. It’s something you hear or read about, but it surely won’t happen to your family.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nearly 3,500 babies die each year from sleep-related deaths. This number includes infants who die from sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
Sloan was in his crib with a blanket made by his great-great grandmother. He had had it since he was born and slept with it nightly.
DeRosier thought he was old enough for the blanket now that he was walking, crawling, and climbing. However, the AAP recommends not putting anything in a child’s crib until they are over a year old.
During the night, Sloan’s blanket wrapped around his head and caught between the bars of his crib. DeRosier found him the next morning, lips blue and little body cold.
The next six hours were torturous for the distraught parents. Paramedics, sirens, detectives surrounded them in a whirlwind of chaos and heart break.
All the while their sweet baby boy’s body laid on their ottoman, unable to be revived. DeRosier wrote in a later Facebook post that their family could not return to the house after the horrors it witnessed.
At first, other parents blamed vaccines for Sloan’s death, but DeRosier came forward to explain the real cause of death. Among the grieving and other emotions, DeRosier and her husband feel immense guilt.
They live each day knowing if they had done something different they would still be able to hold their baby boy. The DeRosiers have been reliving those hellish six hours since Sloan’s death; there is no peace in their hearts during this time of hurt.
DeRosier does want to warn other parents of the dangers of putting their babies in cribs with blankets, sheets, or stuffed animals. It is her hope that this never happens to another baby and family.
Her raw and jarring recollection of events has brought DeRosier unnecessary criticism, but has also caused some parents to reach out in understanding and love. Autumn Tolliver Safley shared DeRosier’s original post along with her own very real sentiment–“It could have been me.”
Should haves do not bring back a lost child, but prayer and love can heal the brokenness left behind. Safley encourages other parents to take the blankets and other items from their baby’s bed and hold them tight tonight.
She asks that parents be grateful for their baby’s life and never take for granted the fussing and fits that normally drive them crazy. DeRosier would do anything to hear Sloan’s cry or to see his face again.
In this time of deep sadness, join us in praying for the DeRosier family as they try to piece back their fractured lives. To honor Sloan and heed DeRosier’s warning do as she pleads in her post, “Please learn from my world shattering mistake.”