ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – When the Smith family lost their son Ezra to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, they thought they were only one.
“It’s a hard road and if you can walk it with someone else, it’s lighter,” said Ezra’s mother Michelle Smith.
Ezra is actually one of 400 children a year who die with no explanation at all.
“They’re one to 18 years old and a lot of times they’re asleep and just don’t wake up,” said Smith.
Ezra died of SUDC and it’s the lack of information the Smith family had when they went through it that has pushed them to make sure no other family feels alone.
“If it happens 400 times a year those people aren’t getting in contact because there’s not 400 people coming in to the SUDC,” said Smith.
The Smith family hosts a benefit dinner each year to honor Ezra and the hundreds others who died too soon.
“I’m eating for Ezra because we want to support SUDC,” said Smith family friend David Miller. “For them to be able to connect with other parents who have been through something they’ve been through, where I haven’t, it’s really nice that they can be a part of that.”
While most of the event is the same as year’s passed, this year the family has been working on a little something extra, introducing their new foundation 4E.
“We were able to give several books to the siblings of kids who have died,” said Smith. “We were able to give money through burial costs for a local family and we were able to point lots of people to the SUDC support groups.”
Smith says the foundation is all about being an extra hand for these families to grab onto because the event isn’t just about eating for Ezra, but the 399 other lives lost each year.
The family says as they continue work with their new foundation, they hope to bring even more events to the Lone Star State in the coming years.