Today on the medical school campus where I work a 7 month old baby died because she was left in a parked car for 4 hours in 95 degree heat. Her mother is a pediatrician and her father is a researcher. I do not know who they are, because the names have not yet been released. I may know them, at least by reputation. What I do know is that I walk through that parking lot every morning on my way in to work. This morning I went in early and I took the shuttle bus. I wish I had been late or walked or someone had seen her earlier. Meghan is only a few weeks older than the baby that died and I can't look at her without thinking how horrible it must be to lose a child and especially in such a way. I look at my baby girl, all sweet softness, and I rub her satiny cheeks, kiss her rosebud mouth, nuzzle her velvety soft head and I think please god help me to protect her, take care of her, never let her down, never forget her, never overlook anything, misunderstand anything, never make a mistake! I look at Meghan and I see a baby trapped in a car, in the sun, sweltering. I wonder, did she wake up and realize she was all alone? Did she cry? Did she want her mother? The knee jerk reaction is to think how stupid someone must be to forget a child is in the car, but to me it is a reminder of how we can all be just one stupid mistake, one miscommunication away from tragedy.
I have to go check on my sleeping babies one more time.
Children: On death and dying
3 years ago