The Peanut Effect is in full impact mode. You are making a difference. You, your beautiful smile, your tragic death, your very persistent Momma, a cadre of phenomenal letter-writing supporters, and a fantastic State Representative named Tim Jones have all come together to create the beginning of meaningful change in the state of Missouri in relation to the recognition of SUDC, education of medical examiners, coroners and child death pathologists, and overall communication standards in cases of unexplained child deaths.
Despite a disappointing, unsatisfactory, defensive response from the local St. Louis County government, Momma has persevered. Continually reaching out to other resources, pushing for answers, responses, anything. And, in the background, our local representative in the Missouri House - who is also the Speaker of the House - received the initial letter we sent out to County Executive Dooley. And, it impacted him. So, he sent his own letter to the Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Margaret Donnelly. Then, weeks later, she received another letter and an e-mail from your Momma. This amazingly busy woman connected the dots and took personal action, which resulted in a letter we received in today's mail.
Under Ms. Donnelly's direction, her team has contacted the Missouri State Fatality Review Panel. This Panel works with the child death pathologists across the state to develop education and protocols for pediatric autopsy. More importantly, they also spearhead all education and training for these pathologists. And, once a year they bring all the child death pathologists together for an annual meeting - in November. Thanks to Ms. Donnelly, SUDC training, education and information has been added to the November 2011 agenda. And, in the most gracious, unexpected acknowledgement, Ms. Donnelly thanks YOU - that your tragic loss is going "to help improve Missouri's system of dealing with childhood deaths."
Peanut, this is just the beginning. There is so much more left to accomplish. To honor you. To grow and ensure your lasting legacy. But, this is a beginning. And a beginning means hope. Like that wonderful little caterpillar in one of your favorite books, this seed of progress is going to be fed and will grow and bloom into...a beautiful butterfly!!!
Sending you love, hope, kisses...to the moon and back! I love you, Peanut.