JUST a few days ago, Jordan DeRosier and her husband Justin found themselves in a living nightmare when their seven-month-old baby boy, Sloan, passed away suddenly in his cot.
Jordan announced Sloan's death on her Facebook in a heartbreaking post, writing:
"Our sweet rainbow warrior, your short time on this earth blessed so many. You were a gift to all who knew you, and an inspiration to all who didn't. Your death has impacted this world, it has left an emptiness felt by so many."
"Proof that you held with you so much light and grace. You were not able to live out our dreams for you, yet our dreams are where we will find you forever. We will forever be caught in this space between worlds, the space you now exist for us. Our longing for you is eternal, if only your life had been."
Incredibly, although Jordan did not initially share the circumstances of her young son's death, a number of anti-vaxxers were quick to comment online suggesting that vaccines had played a part in the tragedy. Some even went so far as to message Jordan directly to make the unfounded accusations.
The grieving mother was forced to go online and defend herself and her son's memory writing on Facebook about the day the tragedy occurred.
"To those who keep commenting and messaging trying to blame vaccines for our sons death - stop, " she begged.
"Initially I had not wanted to explain the detailed circumstances of his death because of my guilt and the fear of condemnation from others. But I will not allow anyone to try and place blame where it does not belong. "
Jordan went on to explain that she had put her baby down to sleep with a blanket.
"He had pulled it through the crib rails somehow and gotten himself stuck in it," she explained.
"You never think it will happen to you. You never think it will be your baby. Please do not put your babies to bed with a blanket. Please. He was seven months old, I thought because he was crawling, standing on his own, and climbing, that he would be fine with a blanket."
"This is the face of immense, unfathomable grief, the face of longing, of heartbreak, of self inflicted GUILT. I will NEVER stop feeling responsible."
Jordan hopes that people will learn from her experience rather than try to use it to push their own agendas.
How to sleep your baby safely
Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
Keep pillows, doonas and cot bumpers out of cots
Keep baby smoke-free before birth and after
Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to 12 months
Breastfeed baby where possible
Visit Red Nose for more information.
This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished here with permission.