University of Michigan Safe Sleep
Evan Alanson Nessel was born healthy into the
welcoming family of Brian, Andrea, and big brother Cameron Nessel
on September 13, 2006. He
shared a birthday with his grandmother, and was named after both
grandfathers. Evan was truly loved.
Cameron was immediately curious about his baby brother
and spent the five months of Evan's life talking about what he would
do with Evan once Evan got "bigger". All it took to get
Evan to smile was to simply make eye contact with him. His
eyes would light up and his angel cheeks were immediately pierced
by his deep dimples. He loved watching his family, feeling
his daddy's beard against his skin, rocking with mommy, taking baths,
being a patient while big brother played doctor, and laying in his
crib at night watching his animals float above his head in his mobile. But
his smile is still what everyone remembers most.
Many times Evan would become distracted while trying
to drink his bottle because he realized that that if you were watching
him, he could spend time grinning at you and that was more important
than lunch! Other than the occasional sniffle or cough, Evan
was never sick. Other than the occasional whimper because he
was hungry or felt left out of the action, Evan was always happy.
On February 27, 2007, Andrea went to daycare to
pick up Cameron and Evan, and was looking forward to a quiet evening
at home together as a family. When she arrived, Evan was napping as he usually
was at that time of day, safe in his crib. When they went to
wake Evan, however, he had passed away in his sleep. Life saving
efforts went on for over 30 minutes but Evan was gone. It was
later determined that SIDS took Evan's life that day. Everyone
that ever cared for Evan took all possible precautions and safety
measures to protect him from this horrible syndrome. Even though
we did everything right, we could not escape tragedy.
As a family, our desire is that Evan's legacy continue
far beyond our years. We know that others will have to face similar pain
and although we cannot change that, we hope to offer some of the
comfort that comes with knowing that as a parent, you are preserving
your child's memory in the way that you feel is only right.
Because we had life insurance for Evan, we
were allowed to focus on our grief, on our family, and on our desires
and wishes for his memorial. Every
parent facing the unthinkable deserves at least that.