Everything was wonderful for mom Jordan DeRosier. Then it wasn’t. Her 7-month-old son tragically died during the night because of a simple mistake. DeRosier and her husband had allowed the infant to sleep with blankets. And this mistake was enough to end the boy’s life. When she went in and found her youngest son, Sloan, with the blanket around his head, she couldn’t believe it. He was dead. And she couldn’t help but feel responsible.
“I have a lot of guilt,” 30-year-old DeRosier told PEOPLE. “What could I have done better? Could I have saved him? I will never be able to shake the feeling that there was something more I could have done to prevent his death.”
After news about the tragic death went viral on social media, people started blaming vaccines for the death of the young boy. But that wasn’t the truth at all. Compelled to help other moms and dads, DeRosier logged onto Facebook and carefully wrote a message that would go on to reach countless people.
DeRosier had the support of her 32-year-old husband, Justin and their 3-year-old son Rowan. From their Puyallup, Washington home, DeRosier hoped her Facebook note would reach people and help prevent more senseless tragic deaths.
“Initially I had not wanted to explain the detailed circumstances of his death because of my guilt and the fear of condemnation from others,” DeRosier posted, in part, on July 4. “But I will not allow anyone to try and place blame where it does not belong.”
She then got into the heart of the message:
“I was the one who found Sloan. I went in to get him from his crib at 9:48am, opened the door and noticed he was on his stomach with his beloved blankie around only his head. I yanked it off, touched his back and felt that he was ice cold. I flipped him over and a blood curdling scream for Justin escaped me. His face and chest were completely purple on one side. His lips blue. His eyes closed. Justin came running in and I handed Sloan over to him. I remember the animalistic scream of ‘No!’ that came out of Justin over and over. I remember him laying Sloan on the kitchen counter, trying to perform CPR while on the phone with 911. I was still screaming,” she posted on Facebook.
“I tried to hold Sloan’s lifeless hand but his body was too stiff at that point and I couldn’t open up his fingers. Then it was time. We kissed him, covering him in tears, we gasped for air as they took him out of my reluctant arms. They unwrapped him and handed me his name blanket back. The examiner started unfolding an infant sized body bag,” she continued.
Her message worked. It inspired other parents to take precautions.
“That’s really the only thing giving us comfort right now,” she says. “We’ve gotten thousands of messages from parents saying that after reading about our story, they took blankets out of cribs.”]
DeRosier will never forget the horrible moment. And she doesn’t want other parents to feel that way.
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