Grieving Mom Whose Baby Died In His Sleep Shares What Could Have Prevented His Death
The loss of a baby or child is an unimaginably painful and tragic ordeal that no parent should ever have to endure. It’s hard to process how one even goes on after losing a child, but one family in Iowa is trying to turn their tragedy into something positive. Elisha Palmer lost her 3-month old son, Knox, to SIDS last December, and has grappled with guilt over his death. Believing that other families should never have to suffer through the sudden, unexplained loss of a baby, Elisha started a foundation to help put special baby monitors in homes across the country.
In December 2016, Elisha put Knox down for a nap, just like any other day. Devastatingly, Knox died of SIDS in his sleep. Elisha tells PEOPLE Magazine, “He was completely healthy. He just went down for a nap and didn’t wake up. There was nothing that would have been a red flag. We did everything we were supposed to do.” She goes on to say, “I remember being in the emergency room. I remember the doctors coming in and they were sobbing. They let us go back and hold him and tell him goodbye.”
“There are so many things that are just a blur,” Palmer tells PEOPLE.
SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is the death of an infant under a year old. It occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, and is usually not known until an investigation has been completed. The CDC says that in 2015, 1,600 infants died of SIDS, and cites it as the leading cause of death among infants 1 – 12 months old.
“There’s not a word in the dictionary that exists to describe the pain when you’ve lost your child. I kept saying I don’t know what to do with my arms. My arms are empty. He was always in them,” Elisha tells PEOPLE.
Palmer says she had heard about a new kind of baby monitor, one that monitors heart rate and oxygen levels, but didn’t get one because they didn’t think they needed it. Having raised 2 children before Knox was born, Elisha believed they were safe, and something like this wouldn’t or couldn’t happen to them.
Since losing Knox to SIDS, Elisha has made it her mission to honor his memory by starting the Knox Blocks Foundation. Their mission is to give other families peace of mind, by raising money to purchase and give away Owlet baby monitors. These monitors use the latest technology to track a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, alerting parents if there’s a problem. To date, Elisha and Knox Blocks have raised more than $33,000. Owlet learned of their story, and has teamed up with the foundation to help. After agreeing to match every dollar Knox Blocks raises, together they’ve been able to donate 100 baby monitors.
We just can’t imagine the pain and loss the Palmer family feels everyday they live without Knox. But we’re so happy to see something positive come out of such a tragic loss. We hope the families who receive the monitors get the peace of mind they need. And we hope that Elisha and her family take comfort in knowing that Knox’s memory is saving so many other lives.
(Image: Facebook / Knox Blocks)