October 8, 2001 – July 29, 2002
Watch Tyler’s parents tell their story on The OPRAH Winfrey Show – HERE
When Todd and I found out we were expecting our son, we were very excited. He was the first boy on my side of the family, so my parents were ecstatic. We also had Emily, 3, so what could be better – a girl and boy! And we had his name picked out already – Tyler John.
Tyler arrived via C-section on October 8, 2001 weighing a whopping 9 pounds 5 ounces. From that day, our life was great – filled with joy, happiness and the usual bumps with having an infant and toddler. Tyler was a great baby; he was happy, playful, ate everything that he was given and had a doting sister. He had my mother’s blue eyes and father’s red hair. As he became mobile, he began putting things in his mouth, but he really enjoyed shoes and Barbies!
On July 29, 2002 our family suffered a horrible tragedy. Todd and I had a routine that included me taking Tyler to my mother’s house while I worked and Todd took Emily to daycare. Our week was shortened because we were all flying to New Orleans for my sister’s wedding later in the week and we were feeling rushed and pressured to get things done. I gave my mom the day off since she was preparing for New Orleans as well, and asked Todd to take Tyler to our back-up sitter’s house because she lived closer to Todd’s office. He agreed. Emily and I kissed our “”boys”” good-bye and I took Emily to daycare and proceeded to work.
The route to Todd’s office and the sitter’s house was the same; except for a right turn on the corner where Todd’s office was. Out of habit, Todd didn’t make the turn; he drove straight to the office and forgot Tyler was in the back seat. Three hours later, a co-worker was walking between buildings and happened to see Tyler in the car and ran to get Todd, who didn’t know what he was talking about. They got Tyler out; did CPR and called 911. He was transported to the hospital where all measures were taken to save him, but it was not possible. Our precious Tyler passed away.
We share our story with you so that you can be more aware. We don’t want other families going through what we have been through. This tragedy has happened to aunts, uncles, moms, dads, grandparents; especially if the responsible party is not usually the one to take the child somewhere, if the routine has been broken or something else is unusual (construction detours, parking lots closed, missing an exit, sleep deprivation, stress at work; the list could go on). Our brains are trained for the same thing everyday and if that is thrown off, something can happen. Please see the related articles on this web site at the following link:
Please take the steps outlined on this web site to ensure your child’s safety and take others: Retrain yourself to put all your stuff (purse, briefcase, lunch, laptop) in the back seat of your car, so you have to open the back and look in. Communicate with the person responsible for dropping off your child after you know they should have been dropped off or have your daycare/babysitter call you if your child doesn’t show up (and make sure to call them if your child won’t be attending, so they don’t panic).
And always remember “”IT COULD HAPPEN TO ME.”””