The day heaven stole half of my heart…

Before I share the events of this day, I want to explain why. I know people have questions. People that love us, people that love him. I also have close friends with new babies that are scared. They want to know what happened. Could it have been prevented? Is there something they can do to protect their baby? I will say this. I don’t know if I will be able to answer your questions. In fact, I’m sure this story could possibly scare you more. I do, however, feel that it’s important for people to hear. With that being said, this is an ongoing investigation and I will share only what I can, which is not much. As far as we know, there was no foul play.

Thursday, June 19, 2014 was like any other day. I put Nash in his saucer to play while I made him his bottle. He was playing so hard that he was rocking the whole saucer. I made a mental note to myself that I would need to adjust the height on it when we got home. He was getting too tall for the smallest setting. I sat on the couch and fed him his bottle while he stared up at me like he always did.

I packed his diaper bag and we were off to the sitter. She had been watching Nash for at least a month now. Sometimes I was concerned about the amount of kids she had in her care, but I had Todd and Becca do surprise visits in the middle of the day. No matter how many kids were there, she always had Nash in her arms when they arrived. After all, he was her youngest and she adored him. The day before it happened, I was really concerned. School had just let out for the summer and she had double the amount of kids than usual. Todd and I talked about finishing out the week and possibly finding someone else. In all honesty, I don’t think we would have decided to switch. The sitter had been watching kids for 20 years and you could tell she loved all of them! I took him out of his car seat and smothered him with kisses, like I did every time I dropped him off. When I walked away, the sitter did the same thing she always did. She had him face me while in her arms and she said, “Bye Momma, have a good day.” Nash flashed that smile at me and I was off.

It was around 4:15 p.m. when my coworker Marsi told me that Todd was on the phone and he wanted her o interrupt me. I knew right away something was wrong. He has NEVER called me at work EVER! This is where the pit in my gut started, and to this day remains. I picked up the phone and heard panic that I was not use to hearing in Todd’s voice. He said, “You need to leave now! Nash is not breathing!” I hung up, grabbed my purse and ran to my car. In that short five seconds before I called Todd back I thought….was he having trouble breathing?!? Did he choke?!?! I called back and he said, “The sheriff is doing CPR!” My heart sunk. I have worked in hospitals. I have worked for hospice. I have done CPR. I knew there was a good possibility this was not going to end well. I hung up with Todd for two minutes to call my sister and brother; I wanted them there, I needed them! I called Todd back. He had already called his family. They would beat us there. I went 100 m.p.h. on the highway. I remember a group of teenagers was in a car in the fast lane blocking my way. I whipped around them. They just looked at me laughing. I pulled up in front of the hospital and ran inside.

I ran to the first desk I saw and started to say, “My baby…” I didn’t have to say anything more, the receptionist told me what elevator to take. When I got out of the elevator, I looked up and down the hallway with panic. A nurse saw me and he must have known who I was by the panic in my face. He said, “Go right, straight, and then left.” I managed to say, “Thank you.” Who does that at a time like that? It just came out like my body was on auto pilot.

When I got to the right spot, I saw my husband’s sisters and their husbands in this room…crying; my brother-in-law Chad…crying. I had never seen him do that. Becca grabbed me, shook her head no, started crying and said, “Shelly.” I just started slapping at her, as in don’t say anything horrible. She quickly said, “No, I don’t know.” She walked me down the hall, telling the staff, “This is the mother.” I could tell by the faces of the nurses alone that I was about to see something I would never be ready to see. I walked into a room of what seemed like 30 people. Some praying, some crying. I saw my in laws in the back of the room. I made my way to the middle of the mob. A nurse moved so I could get close. Thats when I saw something that haunts me to this day. My baby, on a bed for an adult. Eyes half-opened and unfocused, blue around his mouth, hands at his sides, lifeless…..a doctor wrenching on his chest doing CPR. My knees buckled, but I kept walking. I put my hand on his head. I said “Nash, Momma is here. Oh, baby.” I looked at the doctor and through tears asked him, ” Are you waiting for me to tell you to stop?” He looked at me with sad eyes and said, “We have been doing this for an hour.” I knew from working in the hospital that they were no longer doing CPR for Nash; they were doing it for me. It only took minutes to tell them to please stop. They tried one last time. Stopped. Look at his heart on the monitor and said, “Still nothing”  before they stopped for the final time. I couldn’t rip the blood pressure cuff and monitors off of him quickly enough. I wanted to hold him. It’s strange the places your mind goes in a moment like that. Becca was mad…she wanted to know what happened. All I thought was that he was clearly gone, but God wouldn’t let his sole leave until his momma was with him. He couldn’t be that cruel. I wanted to do what any mother would do if their child was hurt. I wanted to rock him, kiss him, sing to him, tell him it was OK to go.

The room cleared except for Todd’s family and our friend Dave who worked there. The nurses brought in this old, worn out rocking chair…unlike the beautiful one I had in his nursery. I sat there looking at him; it looked like he was sleeping. Todd came in with some hope still in his eyes. He saw me in the rocking chair with Nash. At first he didn’t know, and then he saw Nash’s arm hanging at his side. He collapsed in my lap.

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30 thoughts on “The day heaven stole half of my heart…

  1. I have no words. I read your story and my heart breaks for you and Todd every time I read it. I am truly sorry for your loss. Prayers are being said for you both.

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  2. Shelly, I can’t fathom what this feels like for you. I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious son. I know nothing that we say or do can take away your pain, but please know I pray for your peace and solace. You have demonstrated such strength, it leaves me at a loss for words, but through this, I think you have inspired so many people who would gladly give of some of their own to help lift you up if you should need it. May God bless you and comfort you. ❤

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  3. I, too, lost our baby boy when he was 16 days old. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and it’s been 35 years. Time will help ease the pain but the feeling of loss will always be there. You will wonder what he would be doing at 1 year old, 10 years old, etc. The peace that I received came from Christ our Savior. I pray he can help you reach that peace and not beat yourself up with a million unanswered questions. May God grant you and your husband peace.

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  4. Shelly & Todd
    I pray each day for God to give you strength and peace , that you will not have to be judged by anyone… You are the most beautiful couple I have ever seen. There are so many people who could not even do what you have done here. Shelly this shows how strong and caring you are.
    God Bless you both.

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  5. Shelly, my heart breaks for you all over again reading this. I think and pray for you and Todd often. Thank you for sharing your love story for Nash.

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  6. God bless you and your family. I’ve been following your story since the day my fiancé pulled in to pick up our son at the same sitter and the sheriff was there. When that call came through every part of me was preparing for what you are going through. The amount of love that it takes to do what you just did is amazing. Obviously you have a strong family and are a strong woman. Stay strong and keep your faith in whatever it is that drives you. Again – God bless you.

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  7. I cannot get the rest of the story, I’ve read it in chunks, like its not in order on my end for some reason. It took me awhile to get through it and it ends with Todd collapsing on lap….it doesn’t say what happened to the baby…I don’t know why I can’t find the ending to this story but I am very intrigued because my wife and I have a newborn baby boy. This story sounds almost exactly like ours…it’s like my wife wrote it, 95% of it…our baby boy was born on 6/19/2014. He is now 17 days old and now after reading the part in the story about new parents and if whatever happened here can be prevented …but I can’t find that part of the story.,..someone fill me in please .

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    • The newest post are on top, to see others you can scroll to the bottom and click on other titles. Nash was put down for a nap in a pack-n-play by his babysitter while at daycare. He never woke up. We are awaiting final results from the autopsy as well as police investigation.

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  8. I am so very sorry for you and your family. Words will never be enough. No one will understand your pain unless they have been there. My twin sons passed away at 3 days old. I cannot even imagine if they had been “months” old. Again, I’m so sorry & even though we don’t know each other, I wish there was something I could say or do to ease your pain. Don’t let others tell you how you should feel or to seek out God unless that’s what YOU and your husband want. Admittedly, I’m still Alittle angry with god to this day for taking away our babies after multiple IVF treatments. I’m so glad to see that you have photos from his final day. Take care & know that you guys are stronger than you probably realize right now.

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  9. Shelly and Todd,
    Hello, i am a co-worker and friend of your cousin Maria Steckroth. I want you to know how brave you are. I have been following your story through Maria, and have cried for you multiple times, Just like now while I’m at work, tears dripping onto my phone. It stops me in my tracks as a mother of a little 15 mo old little boy, it hits so close to home and it hurts me so bad for you. Maria speaks so highly of you guys and the amazing family you are. Idk why these horrible, gut wrenching things happen to the best people and it makes me angry at the world for you. From what i gather, it seems that you are so graceful with this. That makes you even better people, bc i would have so much anger in my heart. Idk how you guys are able to cope, but i am sending you well wishes from my heart each second of everyday. And tho I’m sure nothing makes you feel better, i pray that God can somehow send you peace to your hearts one day. I will forever hold your story close to my heart and wish for your again happiness. Xoxo, from Brooke, Aleyda and Omar WPB, FL

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  10. I have been in your shoes, more than nine years ago. It is almost like an out of body experience. For me I didn’t snap back until two weeks later when one of the groundskeepers at the cemetery asked if I was the mother while I was sitting at her grave. It was then I realized I was. This had happened to me and my famiy. My heart goes out to you and everyone who loved your sweet baby Nash.

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  11. I don’t know you nor your family. But just know, all the way in Georgia, someone is reading your story and praying for you. Grieve for as long as you want and cherish the memories of your baby. The smiles and giggles. Write everything down. Even the Bad things. Hope for the best in all you do.

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  12. Some say it is too painful to think about. You are a true testimony that he was a gift too precious to forget!. He will always be in your heart and all of us who were fortunate enough to know and love him.

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  13. First of all I want to express my deepest sympathy to you and your husband. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. I first heard of the news through my dear friend and your Aunt Laura. You have been continuously in my thoughts and prayers since and will continue to do so. Thank you for having the courage to share your heartache, you may not feel like you are being brave but know that you are!! I pray that your broken hearts will one day mend. Blessings and peace to you .

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  14. Shelly and Todd,

    You do not know me but I have known your family for years. I can’t even imagine the pain you are feeling and I am so sorry for your loss. Only God and time can heal your broken heart. I have been and will continue to pray for you that God will give you His peace. The peace that passes all understanding.

    Love and Blessings to you both,

    Tammy Jo (Clark) Dunn

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  15. I am so sorry for ur lose.. our prayers for u nd todd..u are a very strong woman to do what u did. I dont think I would b able to do it.. god bless..

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  16. I am so very sorry for the loss of your son. You are extremely brave for sharing your story,Your son is beautiful angel. I am sending prayers for you and your family and I pray you are surrounded with love from family and friends. I hope you find answers and closure involving the investigation, and though we have never met I send the deepest sympathies.

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  17. I am so sorry for your loss! Please know that your story will touch people in a way you may never know. I cried 3 times today reading your story. It really helps remind me to slow down, kiss my kids, tell them I love them, and not to worry about small stuff. As a mother of 3 kids I had kind of forgot some of the basics. Heaven gained an angel. If you was to write a book people would be Lined up. Stay strong! Xoxo

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  18. We too lost our oldest daughter at 6 weeks old. She would be 12 today. My heart is with you and your family. The pain will fade, sadly the hole will not. I still walk by girls that are the same age as Galina and think about her. Thank you so much for sharing your story, its women like you who help us all in the healing process.

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  19. I don’t know you. I only learned of your blog through the MLive article. Thank you for sharing the most difficult day of your life with us- I can’t imagine the pain you have experienced, and I know that nothing I can say will make this pain any easier, but please know that we are all praying for peace and healing for you and your husband. God bless your precious son- now one of heaven’s most handsome angels.

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  20. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our only child, a son, at 19. It took us 10 years to get pregnant. It hurts like no hurt imaginable, but you’re handling it with dignity, and I love the “Have a Nash day.” My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  21. I am so sorry to hear of your tragic loss. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and loss you and your family are going through. As I read your story my heart filled with a sadness that I am sure is nothing compared to yours. May God grant you peace and the belief that your beautiful Nash is now in the arms of the Lord.

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  22. I don’t even know how I stumbled on When Nash Smiles Facebook. After reading the blog, there are no words only big hugs to both of you.

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  23. I just read through everyone of your posts today. You have such a way with words. I loved reading everything about your sweet nash, you being a mother and your wonderful relationship with your husband. Prayers for you and your sweet family! Maybe these blogs will help you out a bit. I know that you said you searched for people that had been through some what, what you have.
    Www. sullengers.com
    http://Www.hopesmilingbrightly.com

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