Two four-year-old twins reportedly died after suffocating in a wooden toy chest in the middle of the night.
Aurora and her brother Kellen were taken to bed by dad Don Starr on August 25. They later however decided to snuggle up together in the box used to store their stuffed toys.
According to the Daily Mailthey an out of oxygen and suffocated and were eventually found dead by their older brother. They youngsters had their arms wrapped around eachother.
Their mother Sadie Myers shared her heartbreak in a tribute to the twins on social media and said: “Not many will know the pain of losing two children at the same time, and losing them in a way that makes no sense.”
She said the toy chests become “air-tight” and “soundproof” when closed. She later urged other parents to “destroy” them.
Myers spoke about the death of her twins on Facebook and wrote: “Me and Don are having and extremely hard time trying to make sense of this… not many will ever know the feeling of trying to not spend EVERY WAKING SECOND crying in agony.
“So hard that it makes you fall over in pain, but we are trying soooo hard to not let our boys see us this way.
“I have to believe that something in this universe chose them specifically, maybe to protect them from some future tragedy, or maybe because their souls were too perfect for this world.”
Sadie says the parents would put the children to sleep in their shared room, only to regularly find them sleeping in various places. She continued: “Friday night, the weird place they decided to snuggle up and go back to sleep was in their cedar toy chest that we use to store all their stuffed animals.”
The twins appear to have removed most of the animals, leaving only a layer for comfort. Sadie says she panicked when she initially couldn’t see them in the morning.
The family raced around the house trying to find them. They were eventually located by their brother, who was unaware they had died. He said they were “silly” for sleeping in a toy box.
Sadie instantly knew they were dead. She assumed the twins would have wished eachother good night before going to sleep, as they often would.
Warning other parents against toy chests, she said: “Something I did not know and I’m sure many others don’t know is that most wooden toy chests once closed are AIR TIGHT and also sound proof. I hope knowing this helps in some way, and I hope if you have a toy box like this that you destroy it immediately!
“So as they slept, all snuggled up together, they slowly ran out of oxygen within a couple of hours and passed away. They never even knew it was happening. There was no sudden gasp for air, it was a very slow transition from sleep to passing on…”
Sadie said she used to tie the chest shut. But the kids had begged her to keep it open so they would be able to play with the stuffed animals.
Deputies from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department arrived at the property but could not save them. They kept details about the tragedy at a minimum to protect the family’s privacy.
A fundraising page was set up on GoFundMe by Myers’ sister Deanna and more than $17,000 has been raised for the family so far. The twins’ aunt said Don worked during the day and her sister worked at night so they did not have to leave their children with a babysitter.
She said: “They both worked full-time jobs, one in the morning and one in the evening so they would never have to leave the children alone with a sitter. I know they were always exhausted but they were still able to be so present and so loving with each of their four children, every single day, no exceptions.”
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