Jude’s Story

At our tournament this year we will have a baby remembrance of babies that our foundation has helped, or that we have met along our journey of establishing and running the foundation.  We believe it is important to share their stories and say their names.

Today we remember the handsome Jude.  I found the Jude Zayac Foundation, which was established in Jude’s name, when I was researching SIDS.  Their mission is to raise funds to support SIDS research and to enrich the lives of living children in our community.  Jude is missed daily however his foundation lead by Jude’s Mommy, Theo Zayac is doing great things. This is Jude’s story….

Jude Theodore Zayac

April 19, 2014 – July 23, 2014

“Jude was the biggest of all my babies, born weighing 9lbs 6oz. He was the sweetest, most content little baby from his first second on earth.  Jude stopped breathing during the first hour of his third day at daycare. A licensed daycare that we love and trust to this day. I was just going back to my second week at work after maternity leave and Jude was going to daycare two days a week.   I was talking about Jude when I got the call from the daycare telling me that Jude wasn’t breathing and had been taken in an ambulance. Once I got the ER in the fog of my own deafening screams, I somehow noticed a chair placed behind me in the middle of the emergency room hallway and I knew what they were going to tell me wasn’t good news. I was able to watch my baby be worked on, with lines in both of his calves and nothing on the heart rate monitor when the ER doctor stopped pushing breaths.  They removed all his tubes and lines so I could hold him while he died. Most days that experience still doesn’t feel real.

I miss his happy smile. I miss the way he would look at his big brother and crack a smile. I miss the quiet mornings, just he and I, when he’d wake before everyone else. I have three living children and what I am missing out on most is the feeling of having a complete family. Every milestone with my kids or big event with our family just isn’t quite right. There is a lot of joy but there is so much sadness.

I make a choice to walk with my grief and let it overcome me some days.  I made a choice the day Jude died that I would never let guilt, blame or anger seep in. Sometimes they do, and I fight them off, but carrying grief is heavy enough. I have an incredible husband, incredible kids that grieve their brother openly along with me, and an incredible extended family.

Emotionally, since Jude’s death I  have had to deal with anxiety, major depression and PTSD. I often find it difficult to focus which makes day to day life tougher. There is definitely a heightened sense of anxiety regarding our living children.  Fortunately, I can’t say that there was really any impact on our family financially as a direct result of Jude’s death.  But if we didn’t have enough money to pay for his burial expenses and medical bills, things would look a lot different.

The list of needs that families who have lost a child is seemingly endless and always changing and the Rhett Sullivan Foundation can help with these.” 

~Jude’s Mommy

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