Family Voices — Conner’s Story
Conner died when his dresser tipped over on top of him. He was two years old.
Submitted by his mother, Meghan
May 14th, 2017. Mother’s Day.
This was meant to be a special day for me and my boys. Although we had spent every holiday together to this point, this would be the first Mother’s Day that we would spend together as a LEGAL family. Conner’s adoption had been finalized on June 22, 2016, and Kaleb’s adoption had just been finalized on May 10, 2017. We had 4 days at a glimpse of what this perfect little life looked like.
On the morning of May 14, 2017, I woke up to hear the laughter of Conner’s voice echoing through our small home as I simultaneously heard the baby monitor turn off. I knew that the baby monitor was hidden on the window sill behind the curtain just above the dresser so without wasting a moment I jumped out of bed. I remember being excited to give my beautiful babies the biggest hug and kiss and start out our special day together.
What I saw when I opened their bedroom door is what a parent’s nightmares are made of. The memory of what I saw is burned into my mind and it is something that I can never “un-see”. Directly in front of me was my boys’ dresser tipped over, Kaleb standing in his crib with the piece of the monitor that Conner had given to him, and Conner nowhere in sight. I remember thinking to myself as I frantically began to peel back the dresser…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE BE HIDING!!! But, the second drawer that I uncovered contained my beautiful baby. I will never forget this image.
I spent the next 36 hours by Conner’s side in the ICU watching his favorite movies, singing his favorite songs, running my fingers through his perfect white curls, squeezing his perfectly chubby little thighs, and holding his perfect little hand in mine. All I selfishly wanted was to see his beautiful blue eyes just one last time, but I knew what he was telling me. I knew what he needed me to do. I wasn’t ready. I will never be ready. That evening I made the most difficult decision of my life. I gave my consent to remove Conner from life support after everyone had been able to say their final goodbyes. We wrapped him in his favorite blanket. I took him in my arms, held him safe and tight, sang to him, kissed him, and told him how much I love him and within moments he drew his very last breath and drifted out of this world. I know that a piece of me went with him that evening at 6:57pm on May 15, 2017. I didn’t want to let him go. Never, in my worst nightmare, did I ever think that I would be leaving that hospital with everything…except my baby.
Not a moment of my day goes by that I don’t think about my beautiful little boy. With each new milestone, adventure, and experience that Kaleb has, I am reminded that he was meant to experience these things with his brother. Conner never got to have a 3rd birthday, play in the snow, go on an airplane, go on a boat, go fishing, go camping, and an infinite number of other things. Conner was absolute perfection. I know that he was meant for great things in his lifetime. It is up to me now to make sure that he is able to leave his legacy on this world. You can follow #ConnersLegacyFoundation with us on our Facebook Page @ConnersLegacyFoundation as we embark on this new journey of promoting education, advocacy and resources within our communities for the awareness of furniture tip over prevention.
Note from KID: The U.S. House passed the STURDY Act in 2021. In May 2022, the Senate Commerce Committee passed the bill, and it now needs to go to the full Senate for a vote. Please take a moment to call your U.S. Senators and ask them to co-sponsor and vote in favor of the STURDY Act, which would help prevent tip-overs. Learn more about the STURDY Act here. Learn more about furniture tip-overs at Parents Against Tip-overs (PAT), and view PAT’s tip-over brochure.
How You Can Take Action
To take action and help prevent further incidents, injuries, and deaths,
there are a number of things you can do:
- Before purchasing furniture, check the recall database cpsc.gov to make sure the product hasn’t been recalled by the manufacturer.
- Anchor furniture and TVs to the wall so that they’re less likely to tip over.
- Remove tempting objects, such as remote controls and toys, from high places that children might try to climb and reach.
More Information on Furniture
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that in the US, a child is sent to the emergency room every 60 minutes as a result of falling furniture. These furniture tip-overs can cause a variety of injuries–head injuries, contusions, lacerations, and fractures—even death. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 are at the highest risk – their motor abilities allow them to navigate the home by themselves and their intellectual development makes them curious about objects that might be out of reach.