Aslyn Paige Ryan
February 1, 2003 – February 7, 2004
A Mother’s Story
Aslyn was a beautiful and bright-eyed. She was full of so much joy, and such a happy baby. February 7, 2004, she was playing in the kitchen with Daddy, before going to her sitter’s house. When I left for work she was tugging on his pant leg wanting him to read her favorite book about turtles. She finished her time with Daddy by watching her favorite show, the "Bear in the Big Blue House.”
Later that afternoon life as we knew it ended. A devastating phone call told us our daughter was having trouble breathing and an ambulance had been called to take her to the hospital. My husband rushed to the sitter’s house and rode in the ambulance to the children’s ER, while I came from work at a nearby hospital.
On arrival to the children's emergency room, things were much worse than the scenarios playing out in my mind. No parent, or medical professional for that matter, can ever be prepared to see a child near death. Doctors and nurses were struggling diligently to save her life. Asyln’s body temperature had reached 106 degrees. She had suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen after being left alone in a car on an 85 degree day. She was later transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit. After two days of blood transfusions, tests and medications, our baby lost her fight.
We held our little angel in our arms as she died. As the shock of what happened hit us, we tried to cope with the loss of our little girl. Days turned to months and we still wondered how this could have happened. It felt as though we were in a nightmare that we wanted to wake from, but couldn't. Many people never recover from the loss of a child, especially when the death is completely avoidable.
Our family’s mission in life has become one of trying to make sure other parents never feel the grief of losing a child from being left in a hot car. This journey of grief is one that nobody should have to take.
I have learned many things through this loss. Asyln made me a better person, just by being her mother. I learned that even in the shortest dash through life, one can leave a lasting legacy. She inspires everything her father and I do.
It's hard to believe that Aslyn would have been 8 years old this year. Her short little dash through life made a lasting impact on a lot of people. I believe that she is cheering me on from heaven and know she has to be proud that we are all saving children though our love and by sharing our stories. I think of how many children have been saved by those of us advocating for education and safety.”
In Aslyn’s honor, we continue to work to create educational programs and support legislation to protect children all over the nation.