Team Vienna 4 SUDC Awareness Inc. (nonprofit, 501c3)
My sweet daughter was a healthy, fun-loving, caring, free-spirited, silly, beautiful 2 year old girl (2 months shy of 3 years old). She had a perpetual smile to share, infectious laughter, and was a ray of sunshine to everyone who met her. She loved to pretend to read, sing, explore various fashion choices, help her friends at school, and play with her family.
On November 12th, 2017, the unimaginable happened. Vienna fell asleep while watching TV at home in Holmdel, NJ, and never woke up. My husband and I were on our way home from a wedding when we received the frantic phone call at 7.02pm from our babysitter that Vienna wasn't breathing and paramedics were on their way. She was found unresponsive within 10 minutes of falling asleep on our family room carpet, with our older daughter, our older son, and our babysitter within 10 feet of Vienna. After a thorough investigation, including an autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of our child’s and family’s medical history, her death was categorized as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). This affects kids 1-18 years old. Even Vienna's genetic studies, as part of a research study, did not reveal a cause of death. There are causes to these mysterious deaths, however we just do not know what they are yet.
Despite my husband and I being physicians, we had never heard of SUDC, nor had any of our friends or family. We soon learned that these tragedies can happen to anyone, without warning. Devastatingly, we learned about SUDC the most difficult way possible; when it happened to us.
It's been over 3.5 years since Vienna died, and that may seem like a long time ago. But that couldn't be further from the truth; for our family, it's every single day. We miss her so much.