Keri Hall Volmert is a mother of two and when she put her 17-month old daughter to bed one night on February 28, nothing in the world could have prepared her for her baby girl’s sudden death.
Sammie Joyce was just 17 months old when she died of hyperthermia in her bedroom. This is one of the dangers of sleeping on separate floors from your kids.
She said that when she placed her in her crib that she cried ‘a little bit’ but she fully expected her to be asleep within two minutes ‘as she always has.
Keri shares her tragic story on the Facebook page, Remembering Sammie Joyce Volmert. It serves as a memorial for the couple’s lost baby and also a warning to other parents of a danger many wouldn’t even think of: sleeping on a separate floor from your child.
Sammie died of hyperthermia as a result of a malfunctioning heater. The thermostat was set on 72 degrees but the heater upstairs was blasting, bringing the temperature to over 100 degrees in Sammie’s room. Because Keri and her husband were sleeping downstairs, they had no way of knowing the temperature upstairs was reaching dangerously high levels.
‘The desperation and screeching panic in my husband’s voice the next morning as he went to retrieve her from upstairs is something I will never forget.
Keri wrote that doctors believe Sammie never woke up or made a sound either, because young children cannot regulate their body temperature the way older children and adults can. The doctors also said their three-year-old son Jackson (who had been sleeping downstairs with his parents) would have likely also died if he had been in his room upstairs that night.
“We want others (especially those with two-story homes) to hear Sammie’s story so that children can be protected and other families spared from the horrific grief we are forced to endure each day,” Keri wrote.
She went on to say that she saw her husband run down the upstairs hallway and say to her ‘I think Sammie is dead.
The family’s tragic story serves as an important warning for all parents. Although no amount of preparation can guarantee a child’s safety, Keri hopes that sharing Sammie’s story can prevent future deaths like her daughter’s. If you sleep on a different floor than your child and are worried about their safety, a temperature-monitoring baby monitor can detect potential heat risks.
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