The statistics are alarming. More than 160 babies have died so far this year in Leon and its surrounding counties, many never making it home to their families.
The Healthy Start Coalition estimates in Leon and Wakulla Counties, more lives are lost in the first year of life than any other year until age 74, young lives lost but not forgotten.
On Tuesday night the community grieved with the babies’ families during the 5th Annual Walk to Remember in Tallahassee. The walk was not just to remember, but to bring attention to National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Jeannene Case, who lost two babies to stillbirth, said, "All the support, like with this Walk to Remember, is so important for people to embrace because they don't realize how much the grieving parents really do lean on it and rely on it to recover."
The Healthy Start Coalition is trying to reverse the upward trend of infant mortality, focusing on five problem areas it says need immediate attention. They include premature delivery, racial disparity, poor pre-pregnancy health, maternal infection, and unsafe infant sleeping.