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Charlie's Kids Testimony 10-9-13

Charlie's Kids Testimony 10-9-13

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Published by betsyboo116
Charlie's Kids testimony before the Ohio State Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee. October 9, 2013
Charlie's Kids testimony before the Ohio State Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee. October 9, 2013

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Published by: betsyboo116 on Oct 08, 2013
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Testimony before the:Ohio State Senate Medicaid, Health andHuman Services Committee
Sudden Infant DeathSyndrome (SIDS)
Maura Hanke
Charlie’s Mom and Board Member
Wednesday, October 9, 20139:00 AMSouth Hearing RoomThe Ohio Statehouse
Good morning. My name is Maura Hanke, and I am the mother of three children and the co-
founder of a safe sleep organization known as Charlie’s Kids. Thank you, Senator Jones and
fellow committee members for inviting me here today to share my story. I appreciate your effortsto reduce infant mortality. As difficult as it is to tell my story, I strongly believe it is a story youneed to hear. It is a story that I hope all policymakers, health care workers, and especially new parents, hear in an effort to make sure that no other mom or dad has to live through thenightmare that my husband and I did.Of the countless trials any parent must endure, perhaps none is more heart wrenching than thetragic and sudden loss of a child. No matter 
the age, the death of a child will test one’s faith to
its core, and forever leave a broken heart. Of course, sometimes such a tragedy can spur actionand turn sadness into a positive force for change. This is the story of Charlie, our beautiful son.My husband, Sam and I were college sweethearts and a very happily married couple. Wesurrounded ourselves with friends and family, and relished in anticipation of children and a lifefull of love and happiness. Our dreams of parenthood came true on April 6, 2010, when wewelcomed our first son Charlie Paul into the world. He was healthy and beautiful, and for us, likemany new parents, the reason the sun rose and set each day.We were a normal family. I worked as a kindergarten teacher, and Sam, a pediatric cardiologist.We wished and hoped for our baby a long, joyful and happy life. We imagined his future. Wemade plans. After a healthy, routine pregnancy, Charlie came into the world a perfect 7lb. 11 oz. baby boy. We celebrated the day he came home from the hospital - we read him stories; we gavehim baths. He brought us so much joy in everyday things.But, at just three weeks old, in the early morning hours of April 28, Charlie died, a victim of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and an unsafe sleep environment. That night, like most parents, Sam sat on the couch with Charlie; the perfect picture of sleep-deprived father and son.
It wasn’t unusual; we so often see this photo on Facebook 
 baby asleep on dad’s che
st, dadsound asleep too. But, when
Sam woke up, Charlie didn’t.
What we now know, that may not be realized when “liking” these cute photos is
: this sleepysnuggle is actually dangerous for our babies. Co-sleeping and tummy sleeping are two of the
leading risk factors for SIDS, and this includes those innocent naps on the couch or accidentallyfalling asleep after nursing in the night. So, when parents are trying to calm a newborn at 2 a.m.,
or sneaking a few extra zzz’s during the day, we want them to
think of Charlie. We want parentsto know that babies are safest on their backs alone in their crib, and this has become one of our life missions.With each milestone in the year that followed the loss of Charlie, Sam and I slowly started to pick up the pieces and heal, but we needed to make sense of losing Charlie so soon. Fueled byfaith and the strength and encouragement of friends and family, we looked for a bigger way toremember Charlie and most importantly try to prevent other families from suffering this same pain.
Charlie’s Kids Foundation was founded on what would have been Charlie’s first birthday.
Themission was clear, to raise awareness and support of SIDS by educating families, providingresources for new parents and promoting dialogue about SIDS and safe sleep practices. Myhusband and I lived through the unthinkable nightmare, but we now have a greater purpose to prevent additional death through education.My husband and I noted that we received a huge stack of papers, pamphlets and brochures whenwe were discharged from the hospital with Charlie. This was information overload, and this,combined with sleep deprivation, made learning and comprehension challenging. We knewthere was an opportunity for a different approach to teaching safe sleep practices.
The goal of Charlie’s Kids Foundation became a focused passion. We wouldn’t rest until we
developed and instituted a new outreach for SIDS education and safe sleep education.
Charlie’s Kids focused our outreach on education of t
he American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
2011 Safe Sleep Recommendations, creating the Do’s and Don’ts of safe sleep in an easy
-to-read bulleted format. Armed with this list and our experiences as new parents and educators in earlyliteracy and advocacy, t
he idea for a children’s book was born.
 We commissioned Cincinnati pediatrician and author Dr. John Hutton and illustrator Leah Buschto create
Sleep Baby Safe and Snu
exclusively for Charlie's Kids Foundation.The
Sleep Baby Safe and Snug 
Board Book provides the safe sleep message in the context of a
 beautifully written and illustrated children’s story. Because books are often part of the traditional
 bedtime routine, this board book provides safe sleep instructions and reminders right before thechild is placed in his or her sleeping environment.

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