Four-year-old twins Kellan and Aurora often woke up in the middle of the night and played.
Her mother, Sadie Myers, thought it was a “twin thing.” But the US mother never imagined that the innocent act would result in the deaths of her babies.
“Last Friday night when I was at work, [their dad, Don] He put the boys and the twins to bed and then went to bed himself shortly after,” she explained in a Facebook post, describing the living nightmare that began for her family on September 1.
“When I got home from work a few hours later, as usual, I checked on all the kids to make sure they were sleeping, then I ate my dinner and went to sleep.
“Sometime early in the morning, the twins woke each other up and decided that they would rather play in their room than sleep. They do that a lot, it’s probably just a twin thing.
“They usually fall asleep in a weird place in their room… The weird place they wanted to snuggle up and go back to sleep on Friday night was their cedar toy chest, where we keep all their stuffed animals.”
Aurora and Kellan would have woken up in the morning between their stuffed animals, climbed out of the toy box and gone outside to their brothers, but sometime after they fell asleep the lid fell shut. The toy chest became not only soundproof, but practically airtight.
Eventually, the twins ran out of air and suffocated in their sleep.
Her brother Axton found her in the morning, arms still wrapped around each other.
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Mom shares her grief over the loss of her twins
“They were in it from head to toe, each with one arm over their twin,” she said.
“At some point in their sleep, one of them must have moved or kicked in the dream, and that caused the lid of this old cedar chest to close.
“What I didn’t know, and I’m sure many others don’t know, is that most wooden toy boxes, once closed, are airtight and also soundproof.
“As they all slept curled up together, they slowly ran out of oxygen and died within a few hours. They didn’t even know it was happening.
“There wasn’t a sudden gasp for air, it was a very slow transition from sleep to passing.”
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Family assumes twins are still asleep
In the morning the older boys were up early but the twins were nowhere to be found.
When the family saw their beds were empty, they panicked. Everyone joined in the search, calling their names, “turning the house upside down and screaming up and down the street.”
All of a sudden, Axton yelled, “Mom, I found you!” You’re so silly, just sleeping in the toy box.”
What started as relief turned to horror when Sadie looked at her sleeping children and realized they were dead.
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Mom’s strong warning after the death of twins
It’s only been a week since the twins passed, but Sadie and Don haven’t forgotten that they are still parents to their older sons.
“I have to live for my two amazing big boys. My only goal is to give them the greatest life,” she said.
“We will go to family therapy sessions… Me and Don have explained to them that death is a part of life and that they have done a great job of giving their little brother and sister the best four years possible.
“We were very fortunate to receive the gift of having the twins with us, even for a short time, as they changed us all for the better and brought so much light and love into our lives.”
Sadie implored the parents to learn from their tragedy.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me and it never will,” she said.
“I hope knowing this helps in some way, and if you have a toy box like that, I hope you destroy it immediately!
“Please keep me and my family in your hearts and prayers as this will never get easier for us.”