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Jahzel Piñon

May 21, 2008 – July 14, 2010

May 21, 2008 at 6:00 am I was blessed with the most beautiful borrowed gift ever weighing at 6lbs 6oz. She was perfect. She is still perfect. She’s my twin. My fat girl. And as I type this I sit here awake… empty inside knowing she’s gone, but not wanting to accept it. It’s not fair. I can’t forget or let go. I love her so much! Sometimes it’s hard to breathe. Why did she have to go? A nightmare I re-live over and over again when I awake and when I fall asleep.

On July 14, 2010 my baby girl died of heatstroke in the back seat of my van. She was only 2 years and 1 month old. That tragic day, I had a meeting at the Headstart for my then 4 year old daughter. I was running 30 minutes late. My husband tells me he heard my baby girl wanted to come with me, but I knew I couldn’t take her. My husband innocently fed our baby girl oatmeal and put chocolate milk in her sippy cup. Then as I was finishing getting ready (never knowing my husband had fed and got my baby ready) my husband took my 4 year old and my baby J* to the van, placed and buckled them safely in their car seats.

My then 4 year old was in her toddler seat in the third row and Baby J* was in her car seat right behind me. He started the van for me. I remember kissing my then 6 month old baby girl as she happily swayed in her baby swing. I went to the garage, put on my shoes and grabbed my purse bag that was only carrying my phone, organizer, and an infant pamper that belonged to my 6 month old. I got into my van and drove my way to Headstart. As I parked, I unbuckled myself while my 4 year old decided to unbuckle herself, which she never did.  She then opened the passenger sliding door, jumped out and closed the door behind her. I remember seeing another car coming to park and panicked. Purse in hand I jumped out as quickly as I could. I got my 4 year old by the arm and spanked her once on her bottom. I told her how that car or any car could have easily hit her being as small as she and she knew better than to unbuckle herself.

I locked my van and we walked inside. I signed her in and went to my meeting NEVER KNOWING my precious Baby J was still inside my van. They later told me that she had been in my van for about two and a half hours. After our appointment we returned to the van where both my 4 year old and myself found Baby J*.

That is the moment when my inconceivable nightmare began…

I screamed with horror and begged for help. My body went to a standstill, like bricks were piled on my shoulders to keep me from moving. Jehovah God knows how hard I tried moving to get her out. My arms reached out to her. The Headstart cook came and quickly took her out of the van.  I screamed out, “Please save my baby!”

I couldn’t understand how she got there. My husband never told me he buckled her in, nor was I ever given the chance to tell my husband I couldn’t take her with me for the meeting. I don’t blame him, but I was angry with him for a long while.

My daughter was alive when I found her and died an hour and a half after arriving at hospital. I was in interrogation for 6 hours being told she was still alive, fighting for her life. As they pulled her up on the stretcher to take her in ambulance, I said to her, “Fight Baby Girl. Don’t give up.” That was the last time I saw her alive. I never got to say goodbye at the Hospital.

Me and my now 8 year old daughter, who was with me the day we lost baby J, suffer from severe PTSD and have to be on medication simply to survive. I yearn every day for my baby girl. I haven’t gotten closure with my baby girl’s death…nor have I grieved her death. It’s like I am at war with my grief and I am not able to let out what I need to. My only goodbye was seeing her porcelain face and body in her casket. I’ll never get rid of the images my PTSD plagues me with for the last 3 and a half years.

So, I push through everyday alongside my family and hold on to Jehovah’s promise in Revelation 21;4 ” and he will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more.” I work with as a volunteer to raise awareness in my community and honor baby J. Doing this work keeps her close and very alive with me…

Please consider making a donation in honor of Jahzel to help save children’s lives…

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