‘Just In Case’: Inside one mother’s grief and mission to eradicate SIDS
MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind.-- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is a disease where babies die in infancy, but doctors can’t explain with any other diagnoses. Often, the baby stops breathing in their sleep.
One Plymouth woman, Kayla Borton, knows the pain of SIDS all too well, and is now working to raise awareness and funds.
“The tragedy of losing a child is not something someone gets over,” Borton said. “They tell you it gets better, but the truth is, it doesn’t actually ever get better. You learn how to cope with the pain and you learn how to function through daily life through it all, but the pain of losing your child doesn’t ever go away.”
On March 23, 2021, Borton gave birth to beautiful, healthy twins: Case and Chase.
But Case would only live 50 days.
“He was seven weeks, one day old when he passed,” she said, “and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with, and I deal with it every single day.”
He died from SIDS because for some reason, he wasn’t breathing in his sleep.
“I nursed him at 10:20 a.m., And I checked on him less than two hours later and he was gone,” she said.
Borton’s friend gave her an Owlet sock, a device for babies that measures heart rate and blood oxygen levels, for the surviving twin, Chase.
His oxygen levels were low too.
“It was in that moment that my husband and I realized that had we not had the Owlet sock, we would have lost both of our boys within 48 hours from each other. So, the Owlet saved my son’s life.”
She started the “Just In Case Foundation,” a nonprofit that gives away Owlet socks to high-risk infants and educates parents on the prevalence and prevention of SIDS.
“This was his plan for Case,” Borton said. “God knew I would take my pain from losing my child, and I would turn it into something that helps others.”
As we approach summer, Borton is working to ramp up fundraising efforts.
“That’s what my ultimate goal is. I want everybody to take this class, I want everybody to know the knowledge. I want everybody to have an Owlet to protect their infant, but I need the funding to do it,” she said.
There are so many ways to support the Just In Case Foundation beyond donating and signing up for Borton’s “SIDS and safety” classes!
This Saturday, May 20, is their annual charity event, “Family Fun Day” at the Marshall County Fairgrounds.
There will be food trucks, vendors, games, prizes, and more.
It costs individuals $5 and whole families $20.
Learn more about the charity event here.
And Borton herself is competing to have her nonprofit featured in Women’s World Magazine.
She’s currently a quarter-finalist, trying to get votes to win the magazine feature, $20,000 and a vacation.
That link to vote for her can be found here.
And even just taking the time to like the Just In Case Facebook page, or learning about SIDS, can help make a lifesaving difference.