JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A vigil was held Friday evening for a 9-month-old Jacksonville boy who recently died in a case of SIDS.
Trenton Bryant was at home Feb. 10 when his parents found him unresponsive in his baby pen. The owners of his day care brought people together for the vigil to remember a young life cut short.
A small memorial, decorated with blue flowers and balloons -- an opportunity for several friends and fellow daycare families to help the mother and father say goodbye.
"I will always remember that smile," said Trent Postell, one of the owners of Impact Learning Center. "It pierced all of our hearts when we saw him smile."
Star Postell, the other owner of Impact Learning Center on Ricker Road, said she was at work Feb. 11 when Trenton’s mother called with the news Postell didn’t expect to hear: Trent wasn’t coming back.
“We didn’t know what to do,” she said. “We just told the mom we are there for her and whatever she needed to let us know.”
Postell and others who work at Impact Learning Center held the vigil in a show of support for Trenton’s family, but they also viewed it as an opportunity to raise awareness among parents about SIDS.
“This was one of our babies,” she said. “This was a 9-month-old…someone you think has their whole life ahead of them.”
SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is characterized by the sudden death of a seemingly healthy baby that typically happens when the child is sleeping, according to the Florida Department of Health.
While the health department continues to review its SIDS data from 2018, figures provided by the agency show that 13 babies died in SIDS cases in Duval County alone in 2018.
Medical experts believe that certain physical and environmental factors, such as a family history of SIDS deaths or living in a home where someone smokes, can put infants more at risk.
Mary Nash is the director of special needs with the Kids Hope Alliance, an organization that partners with Health Families of Jacksonville to provide support services for new parents.
“Families are bombarded with a lot of information,” she said. “There are lots of products out there that promise to keep their child safe while they’re sleeping and we really try to give accurate information.”
Nash said it’s okay to share the same room as your baby to keep an eye on them, but she discouraged parents from bringing their young children to bed with them.
“They should have their own sleep surface,” she said.
To learn more about SIDS and potential risk factors, you can visit that section on the Department of Health’s website, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds to cover Trenton’s funeral expenses if you'd like to contribute a donation.