Heartland Family Loses Three Month Old to SIDS - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Matthews, MO

Heartland Family Loses Three Month Old to SIDS

Heartland Family Loses Three Month Old to SIDS
By: Crystal Britt

MATTHEWS, Mo. - Horror, disbelief, anger...those words don't even begin to describe the pain a parent feels after losing a child. 

Pending autopsy results, the New Madrid County coroner says little Robert Matthew Sanders of Matthews is likely the latest victim to SIDS in the Heartland.  Now, the child's father shares his family's heartbreaking story, hoping it might open other parents eyes to the dangers.

"It was one of the happiest days of my life, I got to hold him first," said Robert Sanders. 

He treasures every memory of his son's birth.  The Iraq war veteran wasn't due home for several months.  He volunteered to return to war torn area.  A shoulder injury though sent him home early, just in time for little Robbie's arrival. 

"He was honestly the most perfect baby that I'd ever seen," said Sanders. 

Three months went by, then something happened...something no amount of military training could prepare this soldier for. 

"September 10th was the day that changed my life," Sanders said. 

Around 5:30 a.m., Robert says the baby woke up.

"I know you're not supposed to have them in the bed with you, but I had him on the pillow on my arm.  He was laying on his back," he said. 

Two hours later, his wife came home. 

"He wasn't breathing and she said, there's something wrong.  He was still warm.  I took him in the living room and began CPR.  She called 911 and I did CPR for about five minutes," Sanders said. 

They rushed their baby to the hospital. 

"The doctors worked and worked and we prayed and prayed, give him back to us, bring him back and they couldn't save him," he said. 

The county coroner says preliminary test results found nothing wrong with little Robbie.  The coroner also doesn't believe Robert had anything to do with his son's death. 

The Sanders' have so many unanswered questions. They always knew about SIDS, but never thought it could happen to their child.

"One day you have a baby in your arms, one minute he's alive, the next minute he's gone," Sanders said. 

Now all that's left are memories, and the hope that other parents will learn from the family's tragedy, one that's left the young father spending countless hours at the cemetery.

"I know it's just his body there, his soul's in heaven, but it makes me feel better," he said.

However, nothing will ever take away the pain.

"No one wants to lose a child, it's beyond horrible. Words can't describe."  So, as he leaves the grave site, he blows a kiss to heaven...longing for the child he'll never forget.  

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