SANDYVILLE, Ohio -- It's a child's legacy carried on a small green card.
Zoey Renee Salters only lived six weeks, but her parents are using these cards and a special gift to keep her name alive.
“I want people to know who she was,” Zoey's mother, Maranda, said. “Her purpose was to come and save other babies' lives.”
Zoey, the fourth child born to the Salters family, of Tuscarawas County, died unexpectedly on May 9, 2016 while taking a nap. It was the day after Mother's Day.
“She was healthy. We don't know what happened to her,” Salters said. “It doesn't make sense. It has never made sense to us.”
Zoey died from SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
“You can't tell us that we were given her for nothing.”
That's why Maranda and her husband, Ty, started the Zoey Renee Project. The non-profit sends Owlet smart sock monitors free of charge to families. The $300 monitor tracks a baby's heart rate and oxygen level, sending an alert if something is wrong. Attached to every monitor is a little green card with Zoey's story.
“We know of four or five babies who the monitors have went off and saved their lives for their parents already,” Salters said. “This [Zoey Renee Project] isn't something that I want to go away until I know that every baby is monitored.”
So far, the Salters have sent monitors to over 250 families. Fifty babies remain on their waiting list.
What's the hold up? Money.
The Salters pay for each system and shipping themselves through fundraising. The couple has set up YouCaring and Facebook pages to assist in raising funds. Even Owlet has taken on their cause, agreeing to donate two monitors for each one the Salters purchase through Dec. 31, 2017.
“If you can put something into place that would possibly, not saying that it will, but possibly save another baby's life, why would we not do that?” Salters said. “If you have an infant in your home we want to try to help monitor that baby. In order for us to help, we also need help.”
Disclaimer from Owlet:
“Because the cause of SIDS is unknown, Owlet cannot and does not claim to prevent it. This is a health and wellness monitor intended to provide peace of mind, and is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or diagnose any condition.”