UPDATE: Monday, July 23, 2012, 3:26 p.m. by Jillian Risberg
No parent should ever have to face the sudden death of a child, but the Jordan family of Parkersburg just did.
Braxton Reese was only 15 days old when his life was cut tragically short and everything is pointing to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as the cause. His grief stricken family is trying to find answers but it will be at least a month before the Parkersburg medical examiner makes a final determination.
While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, abnormalities in an infant's brain that controls breathing and sleep arousal may play a part. Having babies sleep on their backs is not the only solution.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is also important to use a firm crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet. Nothing else should go in the crib — no blanket, pillow, bumper pads or toys, and avoid co-sleeping with your baby.
Risk factors for SIDS include male sex, premature birth, family history (babies with siblings or cousins who died of it are at higher risk themselves) and prenatal exposure to cigarettes, drugs or alcohol.
"It's about the hardest thing a father can do, to get on camera and speak about the loss of a loved one," Roger Jordan, Braxton's distraught dad says. "I really don't know how I'm doing it but he was the best thing that ever happened to us."
What went wrong that could take their perfectly healthy baby from them with no warning, after he checked out fine just days before his death?
No one could have prepared them for this and they just want to prevent it from happening to any other family.
"If you have loved ones, always make sure to tell them how much you think of them because you may not get that chance," grandmother Penny Jordan says.
Though SIDs deaths have plummented more than 50 percent since the government launched its "Back to Sleep" campaign in 1994, they have not disappeared. In 2006, 2,327 infants died from SIDS in the United States and the Jordans encourage everyone to keep an eye on their baby before sleep.
"Especially your babies, please maybe do an extra check and just give them an extra hug and a kiss and wrap them up tight for the night," Roger Jordan says.
You may leave online condolence messages for the family at leavittfuneralhome.com.