Baby Rhett's Legacy
The loss of a child is an experience no parent wants to bear. When Tyler welcomed her son Rhett into the world in July of 2017, it was the last thing on her mind. Sadly, it became a reality when Rhett passed away 2.5 months later due to SIDS.
Tyler and her family, including her husband Ryan and their daughters Hudson and Emory, were devastated. They were also determined to keep his memory alive.
Tyler breastfed Rhett, and she had a lot of breastmilk saved for him in her freezer. She decided to donate that milk so she could help other babies in Rhett’s name. A simple Google search led her to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, and Tyler soon headed to her local depot with 1,245 ounces of frozen breastmilk.
“Donating, to me, is having a gift of being able to offer liquid gold to babies who need it and moms who can’t produce it,” Tyler said. “I was very fortunate to be blessed with this gift.”
Rhett’s spirit lives on through Tyler’s selfless donation, a donation that helped countless babies. In fact, just one ounce of milk can provide up to three feedings for the smallest infants. That means Tyler and Rhett’s milk provided up to 3,735 feedings of life-saving liquid gold to babies in need.
After making her donation to MMBNT, Tyler explored other ways to continue honoring Rhett and helping families like her own.
While the SIDS rate has declined in recent years, there are still many families affected by SIDS and other cases of unexpected early child loss. That’s why Tyler and her family started the Rhett Sullivan Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that aids families who experience this loss. The foundation provides financial assistance, grief support and other resources.
Since its founding in November 2018, the Rhett Sullivan Foundation has been able to assist three families with funeral and burial or cremation costs, as well as helping one family with a headstone purchase. It has also delivered Love & Comfort packages to three hospital labor and delivery floors in Denton County, where the Sullivan family lives, and has referred four families to resources needed to help cope with their loss.
Any family experiencing early child loss is welcome to contact the Rhett Sullivan Foundation for assistance. The foundation’s board reviews each inquiry and determines their ability to help.
“The loss of a young child is traumatic and touches many families within our community,” Tyler said. “Our goal is to provide relief in their time of need.”