“My infant died in the care of a stranger, when he should have been with me.”
When Amber Scorah dropped her baby son off at daycare for the very first time on 13 July this year, she was nervous about leaving her first child alone.
But when the daycare owner joked that the worst thing that could happen would be for the little one to be “run over” by a toy car, Ms Scorah felt reassured that all new mums returning to work had the same fears.
“This was what everyone did, how everyone felt,” she thought.
The New York mum returned to the daycare centre later that day to breastfeed little Karl – and that’s when she saw the door to the centre flung open.
She knew immediately that something was wrong, and when she entered the room that nightmarish suspicion was confirmed.
“I saw my son unconscious, splayed out on a soft changing table,” she wrote in a piece for the New York Times. “His lips and the area around his mouth were blue, and the day-care owner was performing CPR on him, incorrectly.”
Little Karl had mysteriously passed away just 25 minutes earlier, after the daycare assistant saw the little boy kicking his legs in his sleep.
“Our sweet son died two and a half hours after the first time I had left him,” Ms Scorah wrote for the New York Times on Sunday.
While the medical examiner’s report could not determine exactly how Karl died or whether the death was preventable, Ms Scorah says she will never shake the lingering sense that she should have been with her son that day.
“If the daycare assistant had gone over and picked him up, checked on him, would Karl be alive? I don’t know,” she wrote. “Had he been put down on his back to sleep, would he be alive? I don’t know. I will have to live with questioning this for the rest of my life.”