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Garrett has a baby sister!

by Kelly Callaway

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999

I loss my son Garrett Keith Callaway to SIDS on January 16, 1998. He was 5 months and 12 days old. That was the worse day of my life. He was at his sitter's house and I got the dreaded phone call every parent prays they don't ever receive. Within an instance my world changed. I changed. Never again will I have the carefree existence I enjoyed so much. I will never again take life for granted. I will forever be known as a SIDS parent and a bereaved parent. So what does that mean? How do I go on?

Somehow I am still surviving. I know in part, my son is watching over me and giving me the strength to go forward. My husband and I are very fortunate, we have a steadfast love and a deep understanding of one another. We both love children, we both wanted another baby. I was able to get pregnant right away and on December 17, 1998 at 12:34pm, my darling daughter, Avery Tylor Callaway came into this world.

Avery has brightened the darkest hours. She makes life bearable again. I look at her and tell her all about her brother, Garrett. When she is older, I hope she asks questions about him and I can answer them. I want her to know how special she is to have a guardian angel watching over her. She has his eyes and sometimes, I see him looking back at me, telling me things are going to be alright. Many times, in Avery's sleep, she laughs and smiles. I tell her, her brother is giving her angel kisses.

The fear is there and we have chosen to monitor her. We know a monitor won't save a SIDS child, but who really knows? Every new study that comes out, I give credence to. Avery had an EKG done at birth to rule out a prolonged QT Interval. She is a definite "Back to Sleep Baby". But her brother was too. I read all I can and I am planning on becoming a Peer Counselor in April. I want to help others who endure this tragedy and pain. I hope on day we can wipe out SIDS and no one will have to go through what we have as parents of SIDS victims have to live with forever. Everyday, I cry for my son, for the memories I don't get to share with him. He will forever by 5 months and 12 days old in my heart.

If anyone wants to e-mail and talk, please do so KCALLAWA@MAIL.MCG.EDU.

God Bless Our Angels
Kelly Callaway

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