Mother who lost 5-week-old to SIDS pushes for more research

SIDS research could shed light for grieving mother

KANSAS CITY - Several Kansas City organizations have joined forces for new training program to teach parents about the dangers of cluttered cribs and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The conference, organized by Safe Kids Metro, the Mother and Child Health Coalition and Children’s Mercy Hospital, is set for April 4 at the Kauffman Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Training on SIDS is something Lindsey McFall thinks every parent should have. She lost her son to SIDS nearly three years ago.  

She has a lot of memories of her son Max, who only lived for five weeks.  

"We did a lot of things and a lot of people met him,” she said.

On June 10, Max stopped breathing in his sleep.

"As a parent you kind of know, I knew that he wasn't going to wake up,” she said.

Kansas has one of the highest infant death rates in the nation.

"It’s happening to your friends and neighbors and people you know indirectly,” McFall said.

There’s no explanation of how Max died.

"I don’t know what it would have felt to have that,” she said, “I don’t think I ever will.”

Research on babies who've died from SIDS could shed light. One of the latest studies on the topic was done at Boston University. Researchers studied babies in safe and unsafe sleeping environments. In both cases babies were found to have brainstem abnormalities.

"Hopefully as they continue to study this, they’ll find ways to be able to let parents know and give them a better idea if they’re a vulnerable infant,” Dr. Kristen Voos said, a neonatologist.

An uncluttered crib also helps.

"That has reduced the risk of SIDS significantly,” Voos said.

Mcfall knows there’s a long way to go in SIDS research, starting with how it’s perceived.

"It’s scary,” she said, “its uncomfortable and new parents don’t want to know about ways their children can die."

That’s why she’s sharing her story.

"I feel like I am a different person,” she said.

McFall said she’s also sharing Max’s story.

"I owe that to Max," she said.

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