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Health Team

Jacksonville mother talks about losing baby to SIDS

Posted April 20, 2012 5:30 p.m. EDT
Updated April 24, 2016 11:51 p.m. EDT

— SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is on the decline, according to doctors, who say more parents know to lay infants on their back, keep soft objects out of the crib and take other steps to reduce the risk. Even so, some babies die without any known cause.

Barrett Edward Tallman, for example, lived a normal, happy life in Jacksonville for 6½ months, according to his parents.

“He was brought into this world Aug. 29, 2011,” said Katie Tallman, his mother. “We called him ‘Bear.’ He has an older sister. Her name is Kendall. Her age is 2½. She couldn't say brother, so she calls him ‘Bubba.’”

Tallman says her son was “very smiley,” “the most lovable baby” and had a “deep belly laugh.” Barrett was beyond the age when doctors are most concerned about SIDS, but Tallman says they still did all they could for his safety in the crib.

“(On) March 15, he was just unexpectedly called to heaven,” Tallman said. “He was laid to sleep on his back. He rolled to his belly, like he always did, and he was asleep, taking his afternoon nap. And when his daycare provider went in to get him, he was cold and limp.

The daycare worker performed CPR while waiting for paramedics. An ambulance took Barrett to Onslow Memorial Hospital, where lifesaving efforts continued.

“They just could not get his heart to start,” Tallman said, adding that she and her husband arrived at the hospital horrified and shocked. “It was one of those things that, until it happens to you, you didn't realize that it could.”

Tallman responded with a crusade to raise awareness and money for research to discover the real cause of SIDS.

“We do grieve our son,” she said. “We miss him more than words can explain, but we love him so very much that we don't want any parent to ever go through what we had to go through.”