Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Child's Death Works to Bring a Community Together; the Mandarin Girl Died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Child's Death Works to Bring a Community Together; the Mandarin Girl Died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Article excerpt

Byline: SUSAN D. BRANDENBURG

Mackensi Grace VanArsdale of Mandarin was born June 10. She smiled for the first time at four weeks. When she cried, her parents soothed her by singing her favorite song, You are my Sunshine.

Mackensi slept through the night at five weeks, but on the afternoon of Sept. 29, she went to sleep and didn't wake up.

She died of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the No. 1 cause of death in infants between one month and 1 year of age. But the exact cause of death has remained a mystery even after autopsy, which is standard in all SIDS deaths.

Through April 20, Peoples First Community Bank is hosting a fundraiser, "Spring-for-SIDS," in memory of Mackensi to benefit research by the American SIDS Institute. On that date, National SIDS Awareness Day, a community chicken barbecue will be held at the bank's St. Johns Forest Branch in Northwest St. Johns County, where her mother, Cori VanArsdale, works.

"Mackensi had a stuffy nose and kept waking up during the night of Sept. 28," recalled her mother noting that she and her husband, Bryan, knew that was strange because their daughter was such a good sleeper.

Not wanting her to lie flat, the VanArsdales placed their infant in a bouncy chair that night and slept on the couch next to her.

"I held her hand all night long," said Cori VanArsdale.

When her parents dropped her off at the babysitter's the next morning, Mackensi still had a stuffy nose, but no other symptoms of illness.

That day, Cori VanArsdale received a frantic call at work from the babysitter. Paramedics, she was told, were trying to revive her baby and transporting her to Baptist Medical Center South. By the time the VanArsdales got to the hospital, their daughter had died.

"They said it was SIDS," Cori said. "I thought SIDS happened to babies that were sleeping on their stomachs."

Mackensi, she noted, was in a bouncy chair when she died. "We did everything right for her, and she died anyway."

Tawnia Adams, banking center manager for the St. Johns Forest branch of Peoples First Community Bank, remembers the staff going through the months of pregnancy with VanArsdale and celebrating the birth of her daughter. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.