Losing Mason

My SIDS story started on May 28, 2010. Our life was hectic and crazy raising three boys under the age of two, but we loved every minute of it. The twins had just begun smiling and making noises at us. Then we received the phone call that every parent dreads - something is wrong with your child. It was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend when my husband called me at work. Our neighbor had called him to ask why ambulances were at our house. We had no idea. Our neighbor got a paramedic on the phone and we were told that one of the boys was in cardiac arrest. Our nanny had found Mason unresponsive in his crib when she checked on him during his morning nap.

My husband and I met the paramedics at the hospital and were able to hold Mason's hands until they ultimately pronounced his death. He was three months and 23 days old. Our world shattered in that ER room. We were a lucky family; the staff at the hospital was amazing. Unlike many families, we were allowed in the ER while they worked on Mason and after they called his time of death they unhooked him and allowed us to hold him. The hospital also made molds of his hands and his feet for us -- a gift I will forever be grateful for. As a family we had to learn how to move forward -- raising Mason's twin brother Will and their older brother Caden.

We formed The Mason Werner Foundation in November 2010 as a way to honor Mason’s memory. Our mission is to raise awareness of SIDS and promote safer sleep recommendations. A onesie was designed to promote back to sleep and we have since given more than 4,000 onesies away.

What is SIDS?

The sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, under one year of age, which remains unexplained after a complete medical history review, a death scene investigation and a postmortem exam or autopsy. SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion. While SIDS can't be prevented, the risks can be reduced. ABC’s of safe sleep are the infant should be Alone, on their Back and in a Crib.

Local SIDS Statistics:

In 2015, SIDS Resources was referred 28 new families whose babies died suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep (roughly one death every 13 days in the greater KC metro area). Of those, 21 were determined to have been in unsafe sleep environments (bed-sharing in an adult bed; blankets, pillows or other soft billowy objects; unsafe sleep surfaces such as sofa or recliner) as a risk factor. Ultimate Cause of Death determinations were broken down as follows: SIDS (5); Undetermined (5); Accidental smothering (2); Positional asphyxia (7); Probable overlay (6); Acute bronchopneumonia (1); Disseminated herpes simplex infection (1); Complications of prematurity (1). Eight of the babies were female (29%) and twenty were male (71%).