Elisha Palmer, a 36-year-old
writer and mother from Iowa, didn’t know what to do after her 3-month-old
son Knox died in his sleep last December.
“There’s not a word in
the dictionary that exists to describe the pain when you’ve lost your child. I
kept saying I don’t know what to do with my arms. My arms are empty. He was
always in them,” she told People.com.
“He was completely
healthy. He just went down for a nap and didn’t wake up. There was nothing that
would have been a red flag. We did everything we were supposed to do,” she says.
And yet, Knox died.
“There are so many
things that are just a blur,” Palmer says. “I remember being in the emergency
room. I remember the doctors coming in and they were sobbing. They let us go
back and hold him and tell him goodbye.”
was left with empty arms, no explanation of why her baby died and lots of guilt. She had heard about—and even considered—getting a baby monitor that
tracks a baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, but didn’t.
could the monitor have helped? Well, even though the cause of death is unknown,
SIDS might have something to do with defects in the part of a baby’s brain that
controls breathing and waking.
of wallowing in guilt and sorrow, Palmer has found a way to honor Knox’s memory
and hopefully save the lives of other babies by starting the Knox Blocks foundation and a Facebook page in his name that
raises money to give away the monitors that might have saved her baby’s life.
“I carry that guilt of
why didn’t we get one,” Palmer says. “I feel like if he had one there is such a
good chance he would be here with us and so our ultimate goal is that no baby
goes without this device.”
They have raised more than $33,000 and started giving away the monitors.
Then Owlet, the company that makes the monitors, heard about Palmer’s mission
and committed to matching whatever Knox Blocks raises, dollar for dollar. So far,
100 monitors have been given away.