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Distraught mom looks back on 'nightmare' after baby boy died when she accidentally left him in car for hours

Distraught mom looks back on 'nightmare' after baby boy died when she accidentally left him in car for hours

The young boy was left in a car for seven and a half hours, with temperatures reaching 120F

A mom has recalled the devastating day her nine-month-old son died after she made a simple but catastrophic mistake.

On March 30, 2007, Raelyn Balfour had just wrapped up her usual working day and everything seemed normal until she received a phone call from her child minder.

The night before her young son Bryce hadn't slept much after suffering with a cold, sparking her childminder to ring her and see how the tot was doing.

"What do you mean? Bryce is with you," Raelyn replied at the time.

It was at that moment that the panicked mother was told she never dropped Bryce off that day and the childminder presumed she hadn't done so because her son was unwell.

A distressed Raelyn then ran to her car to discover Bryce inside still in his car seat. She had forgotten to drop him off with the babysitter.

The nine-month-old had been in the car for over seven hours with temperatures reaching 120°F inside the vehicle.

Raelyn described herself as 'hysterical' when she discovered her young son unresponsive in the car.

Raelyn Balfour accidentally left her son in a hot car all day. (NBC4 Washington)
Raelyn Balfour accidentally left her son in a hot car all day. (NBC4 Washington)

"I got to the car and my nine-month-old son was still strapped into his car seat," she recalled to The Sun. "He had been there all day. He wasn't moving or breathing."

Raelyn went on: “I was hysterical. I screamed for help and for an ambulance.

“I started giving him CPR until the ambulance arrived and my baby was rushed to hospital.

“I was wracked with hysteria, it felt like I was living in a nightmare.”

Despite attempts to revive Bryce, he was tragically pronounced dead at the hospital. It was later ruled that the young boy had died of hypothermia.

Over a decade on from the harrowing day and Raelyn is still riddled with guilt.

"No parent should have to deal with that. No one should have to try to save their child's life from their own terrible mistake," she said.

Bryce was just nine months old. (NBC4 Washington)
Bryce was just nine months old. (NBC4 Washington)

"I paid the ultimate price and I will never have real peace again, I am begging people to be careful.

“The only time I will be able to make amends properly is when I see him in heaven."

The day Bryce was buried, Raelyn was charged with second-degree murder.

She was acquitted in 2008 after experts testified that the sleep-deprived mom had suffered from a false memory, after she was thrown off from her usual routine.

Sadly Bryce isn't the only child to have died in such circumstances. Since 1990 more than 1,000 children have died from heatstroke in hot cars in the US, NBC Washington reports.

Since Bryce's untimely death, Raelyn and her husband have been campaigning for a new legislation that would ensure that all new passenger motor vehicles to be equipped with a child safety alert system.

Named the Hot Cars Act of 2021, it was introduced in to the House of Representatives the same year.

By the November, the Act was passed by Congress and later signed into law by President Biden. It's reportedly yet to be implemented but will hopefully come into force sometime next year.

Featured Image Credit: NBC4 Washington

Topics: Parenting, News