Kids Safety Network

Mom Hears Husband Screaming from Upstairs, Daughter Found Dead in Crib

Image from Remembering Sammie Joyce Volmert Facebook

February 28th 2016 is a day that parents Keri and Larry Volmert will never forget.

Like every other night, they put their 17-month-old daughter Sammie to bed, however, neither parent knew it was going to be the last time they saw their daughter alive.

The next morning Keri was in the kitchen when she heard her husband Larry screaming for her to come upstairs.

Frozen in fear, Keri said she was unable to move until she heard her husband running around upstairs. Then she heard the dreaded words that will haunt her forever. “I think Sammie is dead.”

The terrified parents rushed to the emergency room where doctors tried to resuscitate her, unfortunately their attempts failed and little Sammie was pronounced dead 55 minutes later.

The toddler’s tragic death was caused by hyperthermia overnight.

Image from Remembering Sammie Joyce Volmert Facebook

When her parents brought her to bed, the room temperature was set to 72 degrees, however, in a tragic turn of events, the heating system malfunctioned. By the time her parents found her the following morning, the temperature had risen to over 100 degrees.

Speaking about the incident, Larry recalls:

“As soon as I got to the top of the stairs, it was very warm — I mean, hot. I ran to her room, opened her door, and found her passed away.”

Keri and Larry were completely unaware that the heating system had malfunctioned as their bedroom was on the first floor of their home whilst the children’s rooms were on the second floor, both of which are operated by separate temperature control systems.

Image from Remembering Sammie Joyce Volmert Facebook

Unfortunately, small children are unable to regulate their body temperature the way adults can and as a result, Sammie didn’t make any noise or wake up. “She did not make a noise at all. We always heard her if she cried,” Keri explains.

That same night, the family’s 3-year-old son Jackson was sleeping in his parents’ room, had he too been on the second floor of their house, the outcome may be totally different as he would most likely have died from hyperthermia too.

Image from Remembering Sammie Joyce Volmert Facebook

Taking to Facebook, devastated mother Keri wrote on the Remembering Sammie Joyce Volmert page explained the harrowing story.

She said: “We want others(especially those with two-story homes) to hear Sammie’s story so that children can be protected and other families spared from the horrific grief we are forced to endure each day.”

Since she posted her story to Facebook, Keri has been contacted by other parents who had unfortunately experienced the same tragedy. However, experts claim that it is extremely rare for a child to die of hyperthermia in a home, saying it is more common to happen if a child is left in a hot car.

Image from Remembering Sammie Joyce Volmert Facebook

The Volmert family misses their little daughter every day and the holidays have become a particularly painful time for the family. However, they vow to remember their little girl for as long as they live.

“We miss her every second of the day. There’s a very large hole in our family without her here,” Keri said.

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