Onawa family honors daughter following SIDS death

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It’s not contagious or hereditary and it’s not caused by anything a parent might do wrong.

There are many questions surrounding SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death, an unexplained problem affecting about 1,500 families each year.

One local family says questions don’t bring their daughter back, but action keeps her memory alive.

The Liston home in Onawa is full. Full of love, full of pictures, full of little footprints and teddy bears belonging to three babies. But, only one sits at the table.

“Here is when she was born, right here,” Evan says.

Chris and Crickett say they keep each other strong and son, Evan, keeps them loving life.

“I liked holding her,” says Evan.

But the heartbreak of losing not one, but two babies, weighs heavy.

Chris says, “I mean, I think about it every day. It doesn’t easier.”

Last year, he couple lost a boy at birth due to a chromosome disorder. Before that, about 2 1/2 years ago, they brought sweet Hazel home, but only for a few short weeks.

We just woke up and she wasn’t breathing, so we had to call 911 and they came, but there wasn’t too much that could be done at that point,” says Crickett.

Hazel’s death at four-weeks-old was ruled as SIDS. Sudden infant death is the leading reason of death for babies under a year old. It doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t have any immediately obvious cause.
Left with no answers, the Listons only have memories they plan to share through their involvement with the Iowa SIDS Foundation.

“There are a lot of little things that we do to celebrate her,” Crickett says. “We’re always looking for ways to include them in spirit. I just want to do our part to try to prevent it from happening to others,” Chris adds.

The Liston family will be part of the Iowa SIDS Walk for the Future, which is held in seven different Iowa towns, including Le Mars. You can still take part – it’s Saturday, August 25th at the Willow Creek Golf Course. Click on this link for more details.

Part of the money raised during the walk supports “Safe Sleep” education which can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death.

Safe sleep includes putting babies to bed on their backs without anything else in their crib other than a mattress and fitted sheet.

There are more important tips for safe sleep at this link.

An amazing note about Hazel’s short time alive. Chris and Crickett decided to make Hazel an organ donor, and they say she could’ve saved as many as 20 people. Her heart valves were among her donations.

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