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A 100% Preventable Cause of Death of Babies & Small Children

Updated on March 4, 2019
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Our most "Precious".........
Our most "Precious".........

NEVER let this happen

The following is a true story. Some names have been changed to protect the INNOCENT.

His name was Johnathan. Just 22 months old and as sweet and lovable as you would expect a happy, healthy toddler to be.

He adored his Daddy, who, from the moment of Johnathan's birth had taken over as primary parent, caregiver and protector. It was something Daddy readily accepted. This baby would be his to raise, nurture and love. Daddy's name is Robert.

Johnathan's Mom, Natasha, worked full-time and......well, that's about all she did other than drink a lot. The truth is that every adult in her family, mother, father & brothers join Natasha in being alcoholics.

Natasha was void of any maternal instincts and it appeared this did not concern her She would not have been described as abusive rather merely complacent. Natasha was a victim of her own shabby upbringing and lack of parental love or guidance. Raised in a family of alcoholics, she had little positive care and attention throughout her upbringing. The eldest child, she was made to be responsible for her younger siblings.

Robert had two wonderful sons from a prior relationship as well . He and his High School sweetheart are loving parents to a 9 year old and a 5 year old.

These precious boys live with their Mom but spend an equal amount of time with their Dad.

Baby brother Johnathan loved his big brothers and they loved him right back.

It had always been a source of regret for Robert that the relationship with his High School sweetheart had to end. Not only because he loved her very much, but he sincerely wanted to be an active, involved Dad and a constant presence in their lives.

It didn't work out that way and while Robert blamed himself, he placed his efforts to focus on maintaining a close bond with his sons.

A new chance, to be a full-time Daddy

So, this is central to the reasons that Robert was elated to have the opportunity to be Johnathan's primary caregiver.

Robert and Johnathan were inseparable. Daddy bathed and dressed him, fed him, rocked him and read him Dr. Seuss.This beautiful baby boy had all his needs met and more from a Dad who adored him.

It was a precious sight to see Dad playing ball with his toddler, swinging in the park and comforting him in the Dr.'s office. Johnathan was a constant addition in Daddy's arms where ever he went. Nature took it's course and this Dad and son grew very close.

They were such a constant duo, even the neighbors would comment, "What a special bond between that man and his baby boy."

During weekly visits when he had all three of his sons together, he kept them happy and busy continually. It was important to Robert that his sons develop a strong brotherly-bond.

The night of horror

There was a birthday party planned for Natasha, so she and Robert took Johnathan to his maternal Grandparent's house to sleep the night.

Robert wasn't completely comfortable to let Johnathan spend the night in his grandparent's small, unkempt and cluttered home. However Johnathan was usually happy being there because his preteen Uncles played with him and gave him lots of attention. It seemed to Robert to be OK for just this night.

The younger boys bedrooms were so filthy and cluttered, their beds were literally buried under piles of litter. With Johnathan there, the kids camped out in the living room, two on the floor and Johnathan on the couch.

The killer arrives

At some point in the wee hours of the night, Natasha's 24 year old, alcoholic and jobless brother, "Alan", stumbled into the house, too intoxicated to drive the extra miles to his own place.

In the dark..... and in his self-inflicted numbing stupor, his 6 foot, 300 pound frame simply dropped onto the couch, shoving our sleeping Angel into the couch, face first.

Allan was unconscious and completely unaware of his lethal actions.

In the morning, the grandmother didn't see Johnathan and began to look around.

The noise woke the kids, but no Johnathan.

No Johnathan until Allan got up. Johnathan was found, having been smothered to death.

It was too late.... they frantically drove to the Hospital......but it was much too late.

The ever-haunting phone call

Robert and Natasha were called to go to the hospital, as Johnathan was there.

I am Robert's mother......and the person he called immediately, upon discovering the shattering news that his baby was gone.

If I live to be one hundred, I will forever hear my son's spine-chilling screams as he sobbed and tried to tell me his baby was dead.

I know that my heart stopped for a period of time. and I trembled, uncontrollably. What in the name of God, did my son just tell me?......I felt my stomach turn, my head about to explode.

What I don't recall, is the 15 minute drive to the hospital. I had tunnel vision as I hyperventilated. By the time I got out of my car, every sound was like a booming echo inside my head.

Quickly scanning the area, I saw my son, sitting on the ground on the side of the parking lot. He was holding his head in his hands, as he rocked back and forth and screamed from the depths of his soul.

I ran to him and fell to my knees to embrace him. We rocked and we cried together, and I felt the pain of the gravel cutting into the skin of my knees.

But the pain in my heart for my son, consumed me.

This could not be real. I had to be imagining this whole thing. How could this be? Dear God, tell me what to do, please.

Eventually, Robert took my hand in his and still sobbing, lead me into the emergency room, behind the curtain, ever so slowly.

My eyes saw him and instantly, my mind shut down. The muffled sounds, the smells of antiseptic, my eyes blurred with tears.... our beautiful child laying lifeless on a gurney, his little chubby arms at his side.......a perfect sleeping, precious baby.

People began to surround us, bringing water and chairs for us to sit. We didn't sit, we couldn't swallow. Nurses, counselors, policemen, EMT's ....I saw them all, but I couldn't hear them.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot remember what I did next, where I went or how I got back home.

What stays with me is the funeral home, the tiny casket with the beautiful sleeping baby boy, the hugging and holding and all the tears.

Robert's three older brothers formed a protective wall around him every moment and never left his side. Our Angel Johnathan was laid to rest two days later. We were left to grieve and bear a loss that should never ever have to be.

The Investigation

No one from that house where Johnathan died, spoke a word of how it happened.

The drunken murderer was also a coward. He could not tell of his grossly irresponsible act that took my son's baby.

Allan snuffed out the life of his sister's baby, but never took responsibility. He never admitted a thing.

For weeks of unbearable heartache, Johnathan's death remained a mystery.

The Sherriffs began their investigation. They inspected the home and interviewed every person present in the house that fateful night.

They kept in touch with Robert and I as we all waited for the autopsy results. One investigator who had his theories & suspicions, questioned Allan more than once as well as the younger boys, whom he could clearly see were repeating well-scripted & identical statements.

The moment came when Allan could no longer maintain his facade. The truth came out.

In Robert's mind, his son's death was surely blatant recklessness on Allan's part. He should be held responsible for this senseless loss and charged with the egregious crime it was. Negligent homicide?

Robert and I consulted with a criminal Attorney and soon found ourselves in the office of the County District Attorney.

The meeting was somber and the D.A. of the Homicide Department himself, investigators and a police officer were in attendance.

These men were so kind and compassionate. I knew they could feel the depth of Robert's pain and treated him with such concern.

It was apparent they had done their homework and were quite familiar with the sequence of events and the parties involved in this senseless death of a healthy 22 month old child. I noticed that the D.A. had carried in and placed on the table, a pile of files, several inches thick.

The Meeting

About 20 minutes into our meeting, the group went silent and as my son stared at them, waiting for the discussion to resume, the D.A.'s voice softened and his face displayed genuine empathy.

He placed his hand atop the pile of files and said to us, "THIS represents over 200 cases of 'rollover deaths' in this county alone, this year."

"Rollover" is what the death of a child who has been smothered/suffocated to death is referred to, in police investigations.

The D.A. continued as Robert and I sat in stunned disbelief. "This is every county's dirty little secret."

"We know this is a difficult fact to believe, but the proof is here, in these files. Dozens and dozens of rollover deaths, which, I am obligated to tell you, are, for purposes of legal action, considered ACCIDENTAL."

My son's head went down and I could hear him breathing short, quick breaths.......I remained stunned, in my chair. The D.A. thumbed through the pages in front of him.....and he read aloud, one after another.....heartbreaking cases after case of babies being suffocated by the body of an adult, sleeping and unaware. The list went on and on.

Robert stood up and excused himself to walk the hall. I asked these men what all of this meant, although In my heart, I knew.

"They're accidents. None of these people had intent to harm. They're tragic and horrific, but even considering some are due to intoxication or drug-induced stupors......they are accidents.

We do not place charges in these cases. Sadly, this is all too common an event.

"We couldn't possibly place hundreds of charges, that ultimately go nowhere in court. We have thousands of cases of intentional crime."

So, there you have it. The ugly, inconceivable truth. Based on the information presented to my son and I, the dirty secret in every county across our nation.

Do the research and when you're done, you will know what to do next.

Share this message. Tell everyone you know. Be an advocate to save thousands of infants and small children from a senseless, needless death. Spare the families a lifetime of sorrow. This is 100% preventable

The Lifetime Aftermath

Robert will never be the same man again. He remains a loving, doting father to his boys, as he carries the hole in his heart for the son he lost.

Myself?.....although I've lost several people very close to me, and believed nothing in this world could be as devastating as the death of someone I loved so very much.....the truth is...that....

Sadly, I now know ....My own losses and heartache pale in comparison to the gut-wrenching pain of experiencing your own child's unrelenting grief.

© 2011 Paula


Submit a Comment
  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Shannon....There are no words, no way to describe this deepest & most consuming kind of loss. None of us can or will ever be the same again. Life may go on, but the pain does not leave, nor really lessen. How could it?

  • shanmarie profile image

    Shannon Henry 

    3 years ago from Texas

    Paula, I honestly am not sure what to say here. I can't imagine losing a child or watching my child lose one.

    But I know I would have a hard time accepting that it was just an accident by someone drunk even though I intellectually understand that.

    And, honestly, I did cosleep with all of my babies. It seemed we both got more sleep and necessity dictated it at times, though I won't explain that here. I think I sleep much more soundly now that my kids are older, though. I don't wake to every little noise or movement. And drunken man that probably did not even see the child or didn't care if he did would not be able to be aware of movement.

    This is horrific and I am so sorry you and your son ever had to experience this kind of heartache.

    You brought back a few unpleasant memories with this one. Because it was a worry of mine sometimes. A real one.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Au fait

    Mary &


    Thank you for reading my tragic story of our life-changing loss. It has been a few years now, but the pain and emptiness remains within us and always will.

    Your words have touched my heart. I know what horror this brings to everyone who becomes aware of these unimaginable events.

    Thanks you for your kindness...........Paula

  • Kiss andTales profile image

    Kiss andTales 

    3 years ago

    This is certainly a story all should read and you are doing a good work to help people acknowledge the dangers of child endangerment, I have heard of a case where the mother of an infant who is very large and heavy smothering their baby falling asleep. Sad to experience any tragedy of children, also another child who is trying to walk falls head first in a bucket of mop

    water, accident but horrible, again such tragedy can happen to any one or family.

    But I can live to today with great faith and confidence life will be restored back to many a promise was made by our heavenly Father. If he can give life as we are proof of that, he can restore it as well. Many children will return to their parents and others as well,

    Notice this important scripture as written for us all

    Isa 26:19“Your dead will live. My corpses will rise up. Awake and shout joyfully, You residents in the dust! For your dew is as the dew of the morning, And the earth will let those powerless in death come to life. Just as your loved one arrived they will again

    Joh 5:28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice, Joh 5:29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.

    As Martha told Jesus her brother Lazarus would stand alive again in the last day , she knew of the resurrection hope.

    This is not just my hope but millions .I hope this also will give you and your family comfort Paula.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    3 years ago from Florida

    I could not have reread your Hub at a better time. My granddaughter is breast feeding her newborn, and just told me how she feeds the baby then goes back to sleep!! I was horrified.

    I will reshare here and on my FB page, and certainly to my granddaughter!

    These "accidents" occur more often than we think, I'm sure.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 

    3 years ago from North Texas

    I'm going to share this again because I think people need to know about it. Just as I was shocked to find out how often this happens, I think a lot of other people will be too, if they will just read and learn so that they can help prevent this from happening.

    Sharing with followers and posting to FB.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Au fait, Yes, dear friend, being speechless is a natural reaction so many individuals experience after hearing of this incredibly sad event. It remains a horrid nightmare, we fail still to comprehend.

    The years have passed (our Angel would be nearly 8 years old) with only our memories and albums of pictures to cling to. As life goes on, no matter what else transpires, Johnathan is never far from thought.

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Au fait. Your suggestion is an excellent one and certainly worth presenting to our legislators, in hopes we might encourage such a mission. Spotlighting this avoidable tragedy for new parents is a wise step in the right direction.

    Your compassion is most appreciated.....Peace, Paula

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 

    4 years ago from North Texas

    What a terrible thing to have happen. There really are no words to describe all the feelings. The incredible sadness for a small child so full of life and potential and the tremendous loss to you and his father and everyone who knew him, and too, for those who never will.

    How unbelievable that such a thing could happen once, let alone the hundreds of times it happened in one county, and surly many hundreds of times across this country! At least 100,000 such deaths in a year across this country. That is both heart breaking and appalling.

    It seems so inconceivable that such a thing could happen that people do not take it as a serious danger. If only everyone could read this article of yours. It has certainly opened my eyes.

    I wonder if it would be possible to print a flyer on an 8 x 10 paper folded twice, printed both sides, to be given to all new mothers at the hospital after they deliver? A nice shiny slick little brochure (ballpark about 25¢ each, and paid for by donations) each with the shocking statistics on the front to get enough of their attention so that they will actually read it, and then your story printed on the inside?

    In addition to getting the brochures into the hands of new mothers at the hospital (really everyone needs to be informed, not just new mothers) , talking about this at Lamaze classes, and anywhere groups of people who have, or work with young children are, getting the word out, might save many lives.

    The problem, I think, is that people don't see this as a threat, much less a serious threat, and so they aren't careful like they might be about other things.

    Truly heart breaking and all the more tragic to think this happens so often. I'm so sorry this happened to your little grandson, Paula, and I know it must be a heartache for your entire family, and will be a heartache for you and your son forever.

    Posted to FB, pinned to my board 'Babies,' voted up, and shared with my followers.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I know how this story must have upset you. This is the kind of story I could never even bear to hear......I couldn't listen. They literally tore me up.

    Then one day.....I was the one telling the story.

  • profile image

    DJ Anderson 

    4 years ago

    Paula, I will make a comment here, but will get back with you later.

    Your story takes my breath away. I cannot imagine any thing more heart breaking than the loss of a child. And, as a Mother holding your adult son while he sobs, your heart would have to be hurting beyond anything

    you had experienced. Although, I cannot fathom the pain of losing the love of your life. So much heartache, yet, you are a shinning example of

    a woman of strength. Your positive attitude serves to give hope to others who may feel quite helpless.

    God Bless, Paula.

    Got to take the dog out. She is standing with her knees together.

    Sending love,


  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    OH DZY...believe son and I certainly felt that same way about the blatant irresponsible act. It seemed to us so cut and dry, that our baby was killed by a drunk just as sure as if he had been driving a car while drunk.....however, we were shocked and saddened to discover other wise.

    It feels outrageous to us.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 

    5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Absolutely horrific! I can only imagine the unbelievable pain of a parent losing a child in any way, let alone in such a preventable manner!

    Such a young child should never be left to sleep on a couch where such a thing can happen; they need their own bed space where they will be safe from such a terrible accident.

    I was stunned to learn that though this is considered "accidental," I should think, in the case of an irresponsible adult being in a drunken or drug-induced stupor should at the very least be charged with involuntary manslaughter!

    Voted up, useful and shared on Face Book.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hey Vee........I know honey, that your family has suffered terrible loss too.....we can relate to such unbearable pain. Thanks for reading this RE-posting of an older hub. I appreciate your loyalty, GF.

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 

    5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    This is horrific! I can't even imagine. I'm glad you told your story and are sharing it again here.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    and I appreciate your kindness, so much. Thank you, moonlake. Tragedies such as this are justifiably, too much for people to conceive.

  • moonlake profile image


    5 years ago from America

    I am so very sorry for you loss.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you, M.T. Difficult and painful as this was and has been, we're all so grateful for the help & support from so many....and for the blessings of Johnathan's brothers.

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 

    5 years ago from USA

    Wow! I can't imagine what it would feel like to get an unexpected call like that. I am so sorry for your loss. I am happy to know that you and your son are healing and there are three sons who continue on the legacy.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    My dear loving Sunshine.....I know. I really know how sad this makes everyone...especially parents & grandparents. It is, in a positive way, so good to know that my hub can bring about awareness. Thanks, GF. HUGS

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you, sweet suzette. In all sincerity, this tragedy was an egregious occurrence that I will always pray, no human has to ever EVER experience. Over 3 yrs ago, it will haunt us forever. On the much more pleasant side of life, through this all, my son met an incredibly wonderful young lady, who has been instrumental in his healing. "Their" precious, gorgeous, "Joseph Alexander," just turned 1 year old. He is a total joy. Johnathan smiles down on his earth family.

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 

    5 years ago from Taos, NM

    What a tragic situation and death. I don't know what else to say. My heart aches for both of you.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Johnathan lives on everytime someone reads his story and the tragic way he passed. My heart aches for you and Robert. I just can't imagine receiving the phone call that you did, or Robert did. I just can't imagine. I continue to hope that a baby is saved each time your story is read. I know I learned from it and remind my friends and family members with babies often. Thank you again Effer for sharing. Hugs to you!

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Oh, suzie...thank you so much. You are sweet. My son just left here a few minutes ago, on his way home to Christine and precious little Joseph. I am so grateful he was blessed with a new path to walk and life to live....his pain will always be, but thankfully he can love and laugh and be the wonderful Dad he is, to his 3 sons......Thank you, dear suzie.

  • Suzie HQ profile image

    Suzanne Ridgeway 

    6 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

    Hi Paula,

    I am at a loss for words my friend, after reading this . I cannot imagine the horror and pain you and your amazing son have had to bear. I am so happy that your son has found the love of a good woman and together they have Joseph. Johnathan will always be thought of and be loved.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Damn, Paula, I can hear my Mom in your words and it makes me just love you all the more. A parent wants to protect her child... the burlier they are, the more vulnerable.

    My big ole brother called her Mommy up until her death. Your comment conjures up memories of my brother and I discovering Mom and his uncontrollable sobs. I held my composure, of course, until private with my husband and pooch. I was too busy bitching out the cops for every minor infraction, now absolutely ridiculous but kept me in control.

    Girl, I am so happy that Robert found Christine and you all have a gift in Joseph, never to replace but certainly to bring the smiles of hope for the future. My brother now has his granddaughter... our Kylie "Samantha", born almost 9-months after Miss Sammie's death.

    Love and peace to you all, Maria

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Maria......All that keeps going through my mind, since the tragedy of losing Johnathan, as well as the egregious way we lost

    O.K., Big's the deal......take my sight, my limbs, beat me bloody.....cause me pain until I want die and take ME, if you must fill a quota......But, I beg of you, on my hands and knees, screaming with every ounce of strength I have...from the depths of my soul......Please, never cause my sons a deadly grief that brings them to their knees and crushes their very heart to utter pulp. I simply can never again, look into such excruciatingly pained eyes, I never again want to hold my huge son as his entire body rattles and falls apart in sobs I have never heard before in my life......and watch him suffer, day in and day out.....being gripped by nausea, sorrow and uncontrollable anger....wanting to die and to kill.......yet, as his mother, I could do absolutely NOTHING. This is the ultimate cruelty.

    Lord got it a little wrong in the hub, Maria, but I didn't find it necessary to tell him.....because "Joseph Alexander" is Johnathan's Half-brother...not his cousin.......My son, Johnathan and Joseph's Daddy, met a precious and beautiful young lady....after he walked out of his life of torture with Jonathan's drunken mother and her evil, sick family.......Robert & Christine have been together for 2 years now and he is finally learning to smile and live again......"Joseph" is literally a GIFT.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Paula,

    This is one of those hubs I had to close my eyes and read again today a couple days later. I suddenly forget how to express myself when I read your work these days.

    I'm sorry. How ^*+=ing awful. OK. How utterly amazing are you in your perspective, resiliency and inner strength.

    Lord's congratulations hub takes on such a different meaning now.

    Love you, girl...Maria

  • vox vocis profile image


    6 years ago

    OMG! It's a horror for sure :(

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    "Something like that," happens ALL the in adults suffocating babies unintentionally.........On the news this very night is a mother of 4, who, because she hd drank a fifthe of Vodka and placed her ifant on the couch with her......and she proceeded to pass out cold due to alcohol.......hours later, when she awke, the baby was dead beneath her

    If you watch HLN this will see that the mother just committed FIRE!!!

    There are thousands of horror stories.....but they are not usually high profile, so people don't see them in the news..............When adults are sound asleep (even sober)....they are not aware of rolling over onto a baby....and the child cannot protect itself in these siuations...........

    "THOSE" disgusting and cowardly people have to deal with their own conscience.....and perhaps KARMA. What goes around, comes around.

  • vox vocis profile image


    6 years ago

    No, you explained the situation well; what I meant is that, like anybody else, I would never think something like that could even happen. And, those people trying to cover the whole thing up, ugh...let God have mercy on their soul!

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    It was very late.....2 or 3 in the morning.....all the children were sound asleep. The room was dark.....he staggered from the front door to the couch and passed out in his drunken stupor...he is 6 ft 300 pounds....he shoved Johnathan between the back of the couch and the seat cushion. The baby never has a chance to catch a breath or to move. The Grandmother was in her own bedroom sleeping......Even SHE tried to cover this if the autopsy and investigation would not eventually expose the truth.!!

    My son is a broken man with a hole in his heart forever. but he has 2 older sons and he has a close and wonderful bond with them.

    My hub should be clear and precise on the details. I'm sorry you seem to have a difficult time imagining the situation.......I hope this explanantion has helped. It is EXTREMELY difficult for me to talk about this so often.

  • vox vocis profile image


    6 years ago

    I just don't understand how he could sleep in a room with kids if was dead drunk, I mean, to sit and not notice...Where was the mother? Who else was in the room? I don't get it. I just can't picture the whole situation. The imagine is painful to me, what's there to say about how your son feels? It's just...unbelievable, and so very sad. Once again, I'm really, really sorry :(

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    No doubt I am able to join you in remaining with some question & thought. It seems to me that Allan being intoxicated to the max, too drunk to go to his home and completely irresponsible in his as guilty of negligent manslaughter as a drunk in a car. Is this close to your thought?

    Thank you fr your kind words. It is the saddest more horrible tragedy we have evr been made to cope with. My son will never be the same again. He has a mammoth hole in his heart.

  • vox vocis profile image


    6 years ago

    I remain with some questions and thoughts I might share if I wanted to, but I don't think it would be appropriate. What's done is done. All I can say - this is so sad that it's beyond words. I'm really sorry for your loss :(

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Bless your beautiful heart......and your "persistent".....if this means, "pesky," I always say, "so be it."

    I am used to the silence and the "pass the buck," and a whole lot of lip service that of course, amounts to sheer disapointment...

    But, the right attitude, that you obviously are aware the old "squeaky wheel," the PEST....

    It's not a dead horse.....he's just playing opposum...beat him long enough and hard enough and he may not race, but he'll graze just fine.

    Thank you my dear lady. So good to hear an update.

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 

    6 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Update: I've had no response to the letter I wrote two weeks ago to my state's attorney general--not even a form letter acknowledgement--so here is where I go into letter-writing "overdrive" and send a letter a week until I get an appropriate response from the self-proclaimed "champion for children." I'm too persistent to be ignored. (Some might change the word "persistent" to "pesky", but that doesn't bother me.)

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    TripleAMom.....I commend you for the job you do. It has to be quite trying to see, first hand, the tragedies families can be faced with. I, for one, would find this exposure on a regular basis, much too depressing to maintain, on a repeated basis.

    Thank you for your thoughts......I appreciate your understanding.

  • TripleAMom profile image


    6 years ago from Florida

    I so agree with everyone else that this is a very sad situation and it is very sad that it was not taken more seriously. As a therapist and a contractor to the Department of Children and FAmilies here in Florida, I have seen situations like this that were considered accidents. Frustrating!! I also read your hubs on your life as well. Very well written. Thanks for being so open. Following to read more.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I am overwhelmed. I agree so whole-heartedly with you....and I did try to fight with the D.A.'s Office within our county......asking how a drunk driver who hurts or kills can be charged.......but in a case such as Johnathan's it is considered "accidental?" I went back and forth.....but in all honesty Jaye, I am sure that my son and I were in no condition to think and speak properly....I know we were in deep depression and felt so defeated. "Johnathan's Law" sounds like music to my ears.

    You have inspired me to go forward to fight. I don't know how to thank you....but, I pray it works as we would hope.

    You are an angel on earth.

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 

    6 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Paula...This hub stayed on my mind after I logged out of HP and turned off my computer last night. It was in my last thoughts before sleep and my first ones upon awakening this morning.

    "Outrage" describes my feeling about what happened to your grandson. "Frustration" is what I feel that the person who caused this tragedy goes uncharged for a crime and unpunished. The fact that laws exist to punish those who kill someone while driving impaired and also those who practice child abuse, yet none exists to address deaths caused by an adult who knowingly becomes impaired in the presence of a baby or small child to the extent of smothering that precious child...enrages me!

    Such a law is needed in every state in the U.S. It is needed in every country that has laws to protect humanity. In the U.S., I think the place to start this effort is with state attorney generals. That is where I will start this very day.

    The state website of Mississippi, where I live, devotes a section to Attorney General, Jim Hood. It states, in part, that he "... is a passionate champion of children. He works tirelessly to prevent children from being abused and exploited, and to rescue those who have already fallen prey to those who do them harm."

    I'm going to write that letter now and give Attorney General Hood an opportunity to be a "champion of children." I'm also going to write to each of my district's state senators and members of the state house of representatives, asking them to draft a law to protect children from death by suffocation caused by an alcohol or drug impaired adult.

    Next, I'm going to search for that website that routinely sends me petitions to sign relative to pending or needed laws. This cause definitely requires their attention.

    I strongly urge everyone reading your hub and this comment to take similar action. We need a Johnathan's Law.

    Blessings to you, dear Paula, and Peace to you and Robert.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    kelleyward......Yes, sweet lady......the saddest part of the circumstances is that if not for the destructive, negligent and irresponsible actions of an ADULT......we would still have our precious baby.....It is beyond an outrage. Thank you so much. Peace.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Hello, my dear friend, Jaye.....Of course I completely relate to your shock and horror as well as anger. For the past ...nearly 2 years now, I have gone the distance back and forth to every emotion we know....and some I think I had to create to survive.

    To know that you too had this unbearable grief, no matter how long ago, breaks my heart .....and I literally feel a deep sadness for what you, your dear daughter and family have had to endure. It simply never goes away.

    So many many people share your "outrage" over the circumstances, Jaye....I don't know if you may have caught a news story of just a few days ago.....but it serves as my response to the outrage we all have.

    An alcoholic mother of SIX, who had been binging for 2 or 3 days on bottles of Vodka......ultimately wound up "passed out" on her couch with her 6 WEEK OLD baby...for hours. Even as her other 5 children got themselves up and dressed & off to school.

    She had, of course, smothered her infant to death. Will she be charged with any sort of crime? reckless homicide? anything? NO.

    The worst that will happen to this Mother of the Year, is that her kids will be placed in foster care, until Mom gets her act together in rehab or some such facility.

    She will then regain custody of her children and it's all over. Why, she may even go on to have more babies!

    Does this tell us enough? Actually,'s beyond ludicrous....but a fact, nonetheless.

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Blessings to you..& Peace.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Mary615.....I do know that as a Mom and Grandmother, this horrific tragedy effects you to the core. As incredible as it seem to just about any thinking, rational human....these are considered "accidents." It's beyond comprehension, I know. Thank you so very much.


    I am most grateful for your your warm and comforting words......Thank you from my son, myself and our family... Peace!

    Wilbart26.....and may you be blessed as well, kind friend. The compassion of others is always a comfort. Thank you so much.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York are a sweetheart and your compassion and anger is appreciated. Many, many people were and still are, outraged. We learn to cope.....whether in pain or deep is all we can do. ....all of us. Thank you my friend.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    freecampingaussie......Thank son IS, in all ways, an awesome Dad. He and his 2 sons (10 & 6) have a wonderful relationship.......and also share the void in their hearts where their Johnathan used to be......

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Til....yes, my sweet friend, another mother is able to truly FEEL this with her every fiber......I have heard the phrase "just the mere thought of this......" from many a grandmother.

    There are actually moments when my shattered mind attempts to delude me.....and I feel separate and apart from this horror, as though I am simply a witness to this happening to someone else.......although, I can tell you Til, I would not wish this depth of pain upon the most evil person in the world. Thank you, girlfriend......I appreciate you.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    sgbrown....Thank you for your comforting can be sure, my heart breaks for your friend, "ooma".......It is absolutely stunning how common this type of trgedy is.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Happyboomernurse.......Believe me, there was, and still is, massive outrage amongst our family, friends and even community members we did not know.......who find it simply unbelieveable that Allan Snow would not be held accountable in the legal sense.

    This appeared to scream of reckless and irresponsible actions on his part, that snuffed out our baby's life.

    Any gift I ever had for comforting others, trying to offer consulation.....left me entirely, in terms of helping my son. From the day of the tragedy, to today (nearly 2 years later) I am completely helpless, but to hold him as he is consumed with sobs of deep grief........I would not wish this degree of pain on the most evil person in the world. Thank you so are sweet and compassionate.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    What a horrible unfortunate situation. It's so sad that kids have to suffer and some die from the result of an adult's destructive behavior. Thanks for sharing this sad story. Kelley

  • JayeWisdom profile image

    Jaye Denman 

    6 years ago from Deep South, USA

    This is such a heart-rending, horrific story, and I am hurting for you and your son. Losing a child is terrible enough, but to lose a precious child because of someone's blatant negligence (and that's not the word I wanted to use), a loss that was preventable...must make it almost unbearable.

    No matter what the D.A. said, your grandchild's death should not be considered an "accident" in the circumstances under which it happened. The attempted cover-up spreads the craven Allan's guilt to his brothers and anyone else in his family who lied for him. I don't know how one forgives something like that. I'm not sure I would even be able to try, though I know the act of forgiveness can give peace to the one who forgives. That's probably even more true where the offense is so great.

    I know the helpless feeling of experiencing your adult child's unrelievable grief. A quarter century has passed since I heard the unthinkable news that my daughter's 20-month-old baby daughter was gone...victim of a sudden infection that raced through her bloodstream so fast she couldn't be saved even in a large city hospital. That loss was crushing to my daughter, to all our family, yet we knew everything possible had been done in an effort to save her precious little girl. Yesterday would have been her 27th birthday had she lived.

    Not even a chance to survive was given to baby Johnathan, the beautiful little boy in the photo. He had no way to escape. Simply horrible, horrible. How Allan can live with the knowledge of what he caused is something I'm not able to understand.

    I'm so sorry for your son's suffering, Paula, and for your own. I can't find the right words that might give comfort, for I know the healing of such a gaping wound will take more than any words or wishes I possess. Yet I hope that time will bring relief from the pain's intensity, for Robert and for you. You are brave to confront this tragedy in an effort to publicize the magnitude of so-called "roll-over" deaths. Perhaps the knowledge that your story may awaken parents and other people who are in contact with infants and toddlers to this danger will help you in some measure.


  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I am so sorry for your loss... Give your self a break and regain strength, you needed it... God Bless!

  • ComfortB profile image

    Comfort Babatola 

    6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

    The heart of God is touched with your grief. And may He give comfort your family as you remember your grandson on his birthday.

    I thank the Lord for giving you the strength to tell your story. Your healing starts from your telling, and many will surely be blessed.

    With all my love, Stay Blessed, there's hope.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    6 years ago from Florida

    As a loving Mother and Grandmother, my heart breaks for you and your son. It just seems so wrong that the responsible party would not be punished for this terrible deed. I will vote this Hub UP, etc. and share on FaceBook and with my followers to warn people of this danger. May God bless you and your family.

  • tammyswallow profile image


    6 years ago from North Carolina

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I just can't fathom living through this and I am speechless and angry. I too will share this information and hope that it may help another family.

  • freecampingaussie profile image


    6 years ago from Southern Spain

    So sorry to hear of your loss as Robert sounds like the most amazing loving Dad that any child would love to have . I will share this story so hopefully it will make others more aware .

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 

    6 years ago from New York

    This was the most difficult hub that I've ever read. Having married children of my own I can only imagine the pain you felt watching your son. How you were able to deal with this and still be the happy person you are is a true testament to your personality. I will keep you and your son in my prayers as this is a never ending tragedy.

    I have only shared a handful of hubs on my FB but know this is one of them. You are so right about getting the word out. I've heard of this tragedy before but never from someone so near and dear to me. For the courage it took to write this I have voted all buttons except funny, and shared with my followers as well as FB.

    God bless you and your son each and every day of your lives.

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 

    6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    I could barely continue reading this, it is so sad. If he had run over the child while drinking, it would be at least man slaughter. So suffocating the child should be also. It's a shame!!! Something similar happened to a friend of mine, her son's son was suffocated while sleeping with his mother. Her son is still married to the mother and they have another child, however, my friend, oo-ma, as he refers to her, is raising him. I don't know all the details. This is always such a tragedy! My prayers and condolences go out to you and your family. Many hugs and many votes!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 

    6 years ago from South Carolina

    I am still wiping tears from my eyes. My heart goes out to you, your son and your family at this unfathomable loss.

    As a nurse I certainly was aware that sleeping with a baby can cause suffocation but I had no idea of the numbers of deaths, nor of the fact that even when drugs and alcohol are involved that it is still considered accidental death.

    As a mother of an adult son, I can't even imagine how devastating it must be to watch your son's grief and feel helpless about his emotional turmoil and pain.

    You have gone through so much grief, so many losses and I am at a loss for words except to say that I hope your great courage in sharing this on HubPages may help prevent others from preventable loss.

    Will share this heartbreaking hub.

    Sending Hub Hugs and Love to you,


  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Yes, I'm sure there will be much more later.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    7 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Tears...more later.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Marcy....It was both excruciating and somewhat cathartic, if that makes any sense to you.

    Because I have a stronger ability to cope, due to age and experience, the worst of this tragedy for me, has been to witness my son's all-consuming grief and literally feel so helpless. I sincerely thank you for your kindness & understanding.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    7 years ago from Planet Earth

    What a profoundly sad and horrifying story. My heart stopped when I read your description of what happened and the anguish you all experienced. I know this was excruciating for you to write. Thank you for sharing this - I have heard of these incidents, but you put faces on those who suffer these losses. Voted up and awesome.

  • Froggy213 profile image

    Greg Boudonck 

    7 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

    Yes, two jonathans together in heaven. My heart goes out to you and your son. God, please keep these things from happening anymore1

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    parentreview....Thank you for reading and commenting. I know how upsetting this story is to readers....there's no other way to tell it but, factually. For parents and grandparents it is the most horrifying nightmare of all. I wish you and yours health and peace.

  • parentsreview profile image


    7 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

    Whoa! That's awful! I could only read about half-way down before I had to stop. Sorry for your loss.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you so much, painted seahorse for your comforting words. You are appreciated. Yes, I do hope this message is spread by many.

  • Painted Seahorse profile image

    Brittany Rowland 

    7 years ago from Woodstock, GA

    What a horrific thing you and your son went through! I'm sorry you lost your grandson this way, in a senseless and preventable accident. I hope that the more people know about this, the more careful they'll be and fewer babies will be lost in such a tragic way.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    sharyn.....In my most horrific of nightmares, I never expected this to be OUR true story either. Thank you for your kindness.

  • Sharyn's Slant profile image

    Sharon Smith 

    7 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

    Wow, I never expected this to be YOUR true story and I am so sorry for the heartache your family must endure. Sharing this information will no doubt help others. I will post it on Facebook. Best wishes,


  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    That's all anyone can do, Dexter....the rest is up to each individual. Thank you for visiting. I LOVE your hubs!

  • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

    Dexter Yarbrough 

    7 years ago from United States

    I am so sorry that your family had to suffer this tragic loss. I will certainly pass on your message to others about avoiding a preventable death.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Cogerson..Yes, your wife is very wise and cautious, with excellent reason. Can we ever truly be TOO over-protective when our children are so tiny they depend on us for everything? We know the answer to that. Thank you for your words of comfort. Help me spread the message. God Bless

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Barb..I thank you so much. The 1st Anniversary of Johnathan's death just passed on Sept. 3rd. It is quite raw. Another dreadful day, approaching soon....his 3rd. Birthday on Nov. 7th. Days like these have me holding my breath and walking on eggs, praying my son will get through them without going to pieces completely. I meant it when I said that any pain I experience pales when compared to the depth of my sorrow in response to my son's shattered heart. Your kindness is so appreciated.

  • Barbara Turpin profile image

    Barbara Turpin 

    7 years ago from N. California

    This is beyond words...

    I'm so very very sorry....I can't find words. Not sure what the timeline is, but hit my heart like it was yesterday.

    No charges.... No charges. Somethings wrong with this picture. That was ANY book, ANY state.... I thought. It's not like he was sober.....I'll say no more, you know where I'm headed.

    I pray you can find comfort in all this. By making this your 'soapbox,' you're making others aware of this horrific scenario so it's not repeated.

    Bless your sweet soul. I give your family, your son and his 2 children, my heart and my prayers.

    Hard to write I'm sure, if it saves ONE life, Johnathan didn't die in vain.

    Peace Be With You Always....

  • Cogerson profile image


    7 years ago from Virginia

    I am so sorry for your loss.....reading this story makes me appreciate my wife even more....when our babies were younger...she would breast feed them during the night...sometimes I would suggest "just let the baby sleep with us" wife always...said "we can't do that we could hurt the baby in our sleep" the baby always went back to the crib.

    I can only image your son's pain...I greatly appreciate you spreading the information....and maybe it will save a child's life. Hopes and prayers to your family.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Thank you, Arlene, for sharing your feelings. Cuddling is a wonderful thing and hopefully we all hug our babies. We only need to be be aware of the environment and what possibilities exist. Fatigue is so common in new parents, that even when not intending to fall asleep, they do. Being drunk or high on drugs however....perhaps this is when one must not even be NEAR a baby or child for any reason!

  • profile image

    Arlene V. Poma 

    7 years ago

    I am so sorry this happened to you and your family, and I am sorry for your loss. This is new information to me. When you think about it, we have a habit of cuddling with babies and sleeping next to them. And, we think nothing of it. All this time, I thought SIDS was the only killer of babies. You are already getting the word out.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Deborah...thank you for your heartfelt comment. As difiicult as this is for us to re-live, we are on a mission and can only hope our words are heeded.

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 

    7 years ago from Iowa

    I'm so sorry you and your family had to go through this tragedy. My heart goes out to you. Know that by spreading the word, you are saving other babies' lives so that Johnathan did not die in vain.

  • fpherj48 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Your compassion is comforting, Sunshine. Since our nightmare, I have been known to be gently forthcoming with expectant parents as well as young families, in alerting them to this little publicized but frequent danger. The reaction is always extreme gratitude.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    7 years ago from Orlando, FL

    How tragic and heartbreaking!!! Thank you for sharing your story with others. I hope it could help prevent another child from dying due to an ignorant person smothering an innocent angel to death. My heart aches for you, your son and your family.


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