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Families remember lives of lost babies at balloon release in Wyandotte County

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Members from the Wyandotte County Health Department attended a balloon release Thursday night in memory of local families who have lost babies. Staff with the health department said Wyandotte County is experiencing a higher rate of baby deaths than all other counties in the state.

“If our babies are dying then there is something seriously going wrong in our community,” said Jennifer Allen, with the health department.

Allen said the health department does an investigation on each infant death in hopes of learning information to prevent future deaths. She said there are several key reasons baby’s in Wyandotte County are dying. Allen said one reason is unsafe sleeping habits.

“Co-sleeping, using things like bumpers and beds that are not supposed to be there,” she told FOX 4.

Allen said premature birth and genetic problems also play a large role. She said more black babies are dying in Wyandotte County than any county in our country.

FOX 4 spoke to a woman who said she lost her baby girl after carrying her for 43 weeks and two days.

“She ran out of amniotic fluid so when I came in for delivery they told me that her heart was not beating and that they would give me a moment to take that in,” said Ashley Anderson. She said she lost her daughter Jade Marie Anderson in 2014.

Anderson said she started an organization called “My Angel Lives” to give mothers who have lost babies a place to grieve through artistic expression. You can find information about the group by clicking on this link.