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Taking a Walk to Remember

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

Jeannene Case remembers little Case and little Dustin, their small noses, their tiny fingers and toes and the way they both sucked their thumbs, but she never watched either of those boys take a breath in this world. Both of them were stillborn.

"It is very heartbreaking. It was completely unexpected. We had no idea and it breaks your heart in a way you just can't imagine. I've always said I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."

Healthy Start Project and Bereavement Coordinator Jane McPherson says the infant mortality rate in Leon County is often double the state average.

"Over 100 families in our area lose a child to stillbirth or infant death every year and those families need support from our community, and those children deserve to be remembered."

Some babies don't live long enough to even go home with their mew parents, so the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Bereavement Center puts together memory baskets filled with clothes, clips of hair and footprints.

Bereavement Program Coordinator Ruth Darling says it shows the parent their baby existed.

"Anything tangible to go home with, because when they leave a hospital or another facility, they have empty arms. It's a physical phenomenon that their arms ache."

Tuesday night a Walk to Remember honored those babies and gave hope to others.

Case says she's proof. She's a mother who suffered loss twice but still was able to move on and have two beautiful boys.


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