Columbus Community Hospital joins Briggs and Barrett Project to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Columbus Community Hospital joins Briggs and Barrett Project to reduce the risk of
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
On January 18, 2018, Melissa West received a phone call that changed her life forever.
The Norfolk mother of four heard words that no parent should ever hear. Her son, Briggs, had died at daycare. He was less than three months old.
“He was placed on his stomach and died of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUIDS) associated with Prone Positioning,” West explained.
SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age. It’s unexplained, happening in seemingly healthy babies, usually during sleep.
As the news sunk in, West would soon find out that she was not the only Norfolk mom who had heard those heart-wrenching words.
Not far away, another mom was experiencing the same heartbreak and loss.
Allison Uecker, a Norfolk mother of two, lost her son, Barrett, in December 2017 after he died of SIDS at daycare. He was also just three months old.
“After Briggs died, Allison reached out to me through Facebook,” West said. “We were able to bond together and really understand what each other was going through at that time.”
Through their shared pain, West and Uecker became close friends. The pair talked every day and discovered they both had a desire to carry on the memories of their sons.
“We started a lifelong friendship and came up with the Briggs and Barrett Project,” Uecker said.
The Briggs and Barrett Project is an initiative that helps educate parents on SIDS and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).
Understanding the importance of this mission, Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) has decided to partner with the Briggs and Barrett Project to spread its message locally.
As part of the project, all new parents who deliver at CCH will receive a Halo Sleep Sack and a copy of the book Sleep Baby: Safe and Snug. These materials are meant to promote safe sleep practices from day one.
“The book is a really easy read,” Uecker explained. “It’s geared toward kids, but it’s also an easy read that may sink into the reader’s head as well, because it’s written from the point of view of the baby.”
CCH will also provide educational materials to families to promote safe sleep practices.
This partnership was made possible through the support of the Columbus Community Hospital Foundation.
The Briggs and Barrett Project also benefits families in Norfolk, but West and Uecker hope to expand their services even further in the future.