Imagine dropping off your child at daycare and that being the last time you see them alive.
That was an Edmond mom’s nightmare, but through support and hard work, she wants to make sure that never happens to another family.
“It's unbelievable how much I miss him,” Ali Dodd said. “You never know where grief is lurking, you never know if it will turn a good day upside down.”
Dodd's 3-month-old son, Shepard, suffocated while sleeping in a car seat at his in home daycare. Even though just 10 days before, DHS told the owner that infants cannot sleep in swings or car seats.
“DHS did everything right with Shepard, they literally couldn't have done anything else besides stay there and babysit her,” she said.
Six months later, her Shepard’s Watch social media campaign is gaining momentum with more than 2,000 followers, where she spreads awareness about safe sleep practices. She's also raising money to put together a pamphlet to share with parents.
On Saturday, she raised nearly $1,000 at Sonic, always wearing green in Shepard's honor.
“Everybody at the funeral showed up in green, 'wear green for Shepard' started then it morphed into #sleepsafeoklahoma, #shepardswatch,” Dodd said. “It's just been a way to connect everybody.”
And it’s been a way to pass along information that could be life-saving. In fact, she says an interim study set at the state Capitol in November will bring her one step closer to her goal of requiring safe sleep education for all care providers.
“It's something they deal with every day, multiple times a day and as parents when we go to work we need to know that our provider can keep our children safe while they sleep,” she said. "Nothing's going to bring Shepard back but getting Shepard's story heard, that's what's important right now and I think that's what's helping me focus and get day to day.”
The interim study is set for November 3. Click here to learn more about Shepard’s story and the awareness campaign.