New York, USA—Entrusting her 3-month-old son Karl to a day care center was the only option Amber Scorah had when her paid leave was up.
On the morning of her first day back at work, she dropped Karl off at Soho Child Care in Manhattan, and then headed to work.
At noon, she returned to the day care center to breastfeed Karl but, to her horror, she found him unconscious and the day care center owner was performing CPR on him incorrectly.
They were no longer able to revive Karl.
According to the medical examiner handling Karl’s case, the autopsy report didn’t reveal much; the cause of death remains unknown.
Turning tragedy into advocacy
In a blog entry in The New York Times, Scorah recounts her horrific ordeal but also sheds light on the need for more consideration when it comes to parental leave.
She writes, ”A mother should never have no choice but to leave her infant with a stranger at 3 months old if that decision doesn’t feel right to her. Or at 6 weeks old. Or 3 weeks old. I would have stayed home with Karl longer, but there just didn’t seem to be a way.”
Though she acknowledges that the 3-month paid leave granted by her company was more than generous, she shares that her human resources department would not grant her request for a much-needed extension. Pushing for the extension could mean losing her job as well as her family’s health insurance.
She shares, “I wasn’t just up against the end of my parental leave. I was up against an entire culture that places very little value on caring for infants and small children.” Through her blog entry that has been going viral, she has managed to turn this devastating event in her life into something that will hopefully help many parents and prevent tragedies such as this one from happening again.
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