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Former state lawmaker's family spreads awareness for infant who died from SIDS

Leticia Van de Putte's grandson died of SIDS

SAN ANTONIO – A local family continues its efforts to spread awareness in memory of its loved one.

In 2013, former Texas state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte’s son and daughter-in-law lost their baby son Rex.

“We don’t know why that he just stopped breathing in the middle of the night,” Van De Putte said.

Rex was only 5 1/2 months old.

“He was flat on his back and he didn’t have blankets around him. He just didn’t wake up,” Van De Putte said.

Rex died of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

“About half the deaths here in San Antonio could be prevented. Their entanglements with babies asleep on the sofa, co-sleeping with a parent or grandparent and somebody rolls over and suffocates the baby,” Van De Putte said. 

The family is honoring Rex on Saturday by hosting the fourth annual Walk and Run for Rex. The event is at the Valero headquarters on the Northwest Side. 

“We partnered with 24 different not for profit organizations that help us with at-risk infants and families to get them those Pack 'n Plays and distribute almost 3,000 safe sleep kits to families. Maybe we have turned our grief into something that can honor the memory of our little baby Rex,” Van De Putte said.

Pedro Chavez, director of the Pediatric Critical Care Unit at North Central Baptist Hospital Pediatric Critical Care Unit, said prevention is key.

“About 3,500 die in the country without a clear explanation about what happened to the baby,” Chavez said.

He also said babies should be sleeping alone, but in the same room as the parents.

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