Meet Curren Collas. This is his story.
Here is his story, written by his mother, Jackie.
Not long before Curren died, my husband shared a story with me about a little boy passing away. I immediately grabbed my heart, took a deep breath and teared up. I was so deeply saddened. I could not imagine the pain the parents went through.
I was right.
The pain of losing your child is nothing you can ever imagine. It actually hurts physically. They are a part of every aspect in your life. You see them in all and everything you do. You cannot escape it. The image of him from that day is forever burned into my mind. It is there when I least expect it, when I shut my eyes, when I walk into his room… it’s there… haunting me… forever. Anyone who knows me knows how fiercely I love my children. They are my whole life. They are everything. My one job in this world is to make sure they are healthy, happy and safe. I failed. I know that I should not blame myself, but I do. Curren needed me. He needed me. He needed me to save him. To keep him safe. The one time that he needed me, I was not there for him and that guilt I will feel for the rest of my life. I just want my baby. I want him back.
The story begins on the morning of Tuesday, February 25th, 2014.
I went up to get Curren dressed for breakfast like I do every morning. As soon as I opened the door, I knew something was wrong. The dresser was completely flipped over. Then I saw that his body was trapped underneath the dresser. At that point I started screaming. His head was trapped between the edge of the bed and all of the weight of the dresser was laying across his neck. I tried ripping the dresser off of him. It took me a couple tries to pick it up. I wedged my body between the dresser and Curren so I could scoop him up. I tried to pick him up like I normally do, but his little body and neck were so floppy. I am not sure why I thought he would be ok. I think I was just in denial. His face was completely purple from broken blood vessels, but he was still warm. I placed him on the bed and tried to feel for a heartbeat. At the time I was still screaming and uncontrollably shaking… I’m not sure why they say check for a heartbeat. I was shaking so bad I would have never found one. I immediately called 911 and began CPR… The ambulance came and took my baby to Paoli Hospital without me. While a police officer drove me to the hospital, I kept thinking that he would be ok. I thought I would walk into the room and I would see his big blue eyes. That he would just need to heal. Never in a million years did I think he wouldn’t make it. When I walked into the ER they pulled me aside and told me to wait down the hall in a little room. As soon as they said it. My heart sank. I knew that something was very wrong. My husband walked in the room. I asked him if he was ok. He shook his head and told me that he died. I started screaming at him that he was lying. That he was lying and that my baby wasn’t dead. He told me that he was not lying. I just screamed and screamed. The only way that I can explain it was that my heart was being ripped out of my body. It was a soul piercing scream that only a mother can make. I then yelled at everyone to let me see him. I went through the door to find my little boy lying on the bed with tubes coming out of his mouth. He was so small. He was so still. I went and wrapped my arms around him and hugged his cold body. I held his little hand. I rubbed his beautiful little feet and begged him to come back to me. I held my still little boy in my arms for an hour after he died. I lied on the bed with my arms around him and tried to keep him warm. I smelled his hair. I kissed his face. I felt like I was dying and at that point, I wanted to. I then realized that I would never see those big blue eyes again.
Yes, it hurts so much that he passed away. But it is the little things that sneak up and literally bring you to your knees. It is seeing his sippy cup sitting at his spot at the table. Seeing the empty chair while we eat dinner. It is opening our pantry to find his play food put away with the real food. Finding his cars in his secret little hiding places. Telling the kids to keep their voices down because the baby is sleeping before you realize what just slipped out of your mouth. It is moving something up higher so that he can’t get it. It is walking into his room and smelling… him… looking at his little slippers that he puts away carefully every day.
I wanted to share this because I want you to learn from my mistakes. Bolt EVERYTHING down. Dressers, book shelves, TVs, anything that could possibly fall.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this. I appreciate each and every one of you that has reached out to our family. Words cannot express how grateful I am.
Please share this. Pass this advice on. Hug your children with everything you have. Tell them you love them.