Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Many More Wonderful Kids Will Die ?

There is an abundance of children and teens who have died suddenly, and whose autopsies are unclear concerning a cause of death. These are only three of them.

Another precious Daniel, other than my own, passed in 2008. Daniel Milgram, passed in April, 2008.

Unexplained death no bar to fond memories

Sun Staff Reporter | May 12, 2008

Daniel Milgram

It's been a month and a day since Daniel Milgram died unexpectedly.

Now, although his loved ones are not certain what took him from them and continue to pursue tests, they are feeling lighter at least knowing what it wasn't — an overdose.

Daniel's sudden death on April 12 devastated his friends and family, their hurt compounded by the uncertainty and mystery surrounding the 17-year-old's death. He died, apparently in his sleep, as he stayed over at a friend's house.

Preliminary toxicology reports show that his death cannot be attributed to drugs or alcohol, which brings comfort to his friends and family who knew him as a spirited, soulful, clean-living boy.


Daniel had rhythm — when he played the drums, the guitar, the wheel of a bicycle. In the way he danced. In the way he walked. He had grace in the way he reached out to friends and even people who weren't his friends, showing them truth and cheer.

Loved ones described him as uplifting, gregarious, loving, outspoken; a pacifist, a prankster; soulful but playful.

Daniel had curly blond hair that he grew out into a wild golden hedge, but then happily cut off and donated to a wig-making charity. He once bummed a cigarette off of a friend, then ripped it in half. He did not approve of smoking.

His highs were natural, his friends said, and he drew much love from his music.

He played the bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, piano and other instruments, in addition to his beloved drums. He was a songwriter and wrote music. He could even dance — a silly, impromptu jig or proper ballroom waltzes.

The night of his death, he went to a gathering at a friend's Cheshire house at about 2:30 a.m., after attending a concert downtown. He called home and left a message on the answering machine.

As he and the other young men in the house prepared to bed down, he stepped into the bedroom his friend, Zachary Davidson, was sleeping in. He leaned over and tucked him into bed.

Zachary described him as absolutely sober.

"He had, like, an inner beauty about him. I can't even describe — there was something about him," Zachary said. "He could always make you feel better."

David Milgram, his father, said the whole autopsy report, including the findings of a standard toxicology test, is not back yet.

"But preliminary indications indicate that there is nothing to do with any drug or alcohol use, and the coroner could not find an anatomical cause of death," David said. "It's a complete mystery."

Daniel's friends point out that he suffered a bad skateboarding fall not long ago, and that he was sensitive to mold. David said he asked the county medical examiner for more extensive testing, and they expect to have more answers in the next few days.

"We're trying to find the truth as best as possible, but so far, from what I've learned from him, the coroner, he's completely stumped," he said.

Ann Jolly, a mother of Ashley, a son who
died suddenly of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome.

Ashley Jolly

Inspirational Women of the Year Awards: How one mother's heartbreak has helped save countless young lives

By Isla Whitcroft
2nd November 2010

As part of our Inspirational Women of the Year Awards — launched with The Open ­University — the Mail is telling the stories of some of the ­people you’ve nominated. ISLA WHITCROFT talks to Anne Jolly, 56, who, after the sudden and unexplained death of her ­teenage son, set up a charity to prevent other families ­suffering a similar terrible loss. . .
Terrible loss: Anne's son Ashley was only 16 when he died of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome. Now she helps other bereaved families

Twelve years on, Anne Jolly can still remember every word of the phone call that shattered her world for ever. She was at work, and her youngest son Philip was on the line, panicked and frightened.

‘It’s Ashley. I can’t wake him. He won’t wake up, Mum.’

‘I knew immediately that Ashley was dead,’ says Anne, then a secretary working part-time hours to fit around her family. ‘I don’t why — call it a ­mother’s instinct.

‘I raced home in a blind panic and found ­Ashley lying on his bed, looking peaceful as if he was asleep. But he was clearly dead and probably had been for some hours.

‘The paramedics tried to revive him, but stopped quite quickly. They said they were sorry but there was nothing more they could do.’

Ashley, a sports-mad, fit 16-year-old was gone for ever. Because his death was unexplained, the police were called, the room cordoned off and no one allowed in.

Finally, his body was taken away for a post-mortem, leaving behind him a utterly ­distraught and shell-shocked father John, mother Anne and brother Philip, then 14.

‘The pain is like a physical one which takes your breath away,’ says Anne. ‘You care for your ­children, nurture them, protect them and keep them safe from all harm — only to find that you can’t actually keep them safe from death.

‘We sat there in a daze. I was desperately going through what he had eaten the day before, what he had done. How could my son die without warning, without even giving us a chance to save him?’

It was a question that was to haunt Anne for months to come.

‘The post-mortem results stated he had died of an asthma attack,’ says Anne, from Brentwood, Essex.

‘But I just couldn’t accept that. Ashley had never had an asthma attack in his life, his bedclothes were undisturbed and neither his brother, who slept in the same room, nor I had heard a thing. Surely he would have struggled for breath or called out for help.’

The need to find out the truth of what happened became, in Anne’s own words, an obsession.

‘I went on the internet and started to write letters and emails to experts in a variety of fields. I sent a copy of Ashley’s post-mortem to professors in all the London hospitals and ­eventually one wrote back to say they felt Ashley’s death most fitted the symptoms of a cardiac abnormality.’

Quinton Sanford

Denver and the west
Coroner: Death of Highlands Ranch runner was "natural"
By Daniel Petty
The Denver Post
Posted: 12/18/2009

Quinton Sanford ran and wrestled for Highlands Ranch High School. (Special to The Denver Post)
A Highlands Ranch High School student who collapsed in September during a school-sponsored run probably died of cardiac arrhythmia, although no clear heart abnormalities were found, the Arapahoe County Coroner said in an autopsy report.

The coroner ruled the death of 15-year-old Quinton F. Sanford natural.

The Dec. 3 report said Sanford's lungs, liver and spleen were congested — the result, likely, of the heart failure. Sanford also suffered from asthma, but the report said his lungs did not show signs of an asthma-related attack. Reactions caused by Sanford's medications were not deemed a factor.

"There was nothing related as to why my baby was taken," said his mother, Jill Sanford. "But we do know that we are proud of our son and the profound impact he's had on so many people's lives. God blessed us with him for almost 16 years, and for that we are grateful."

Sanford was a sophomore member of the wrestling and cross country team who collapsed Sept. 30 while running with his father, Frank Sanford, in an annual fun run along the High Line Canal. His father immediately began giving CPR while a bystanding physician assisted, but Sanford was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Despite living with a severe form of autism, he was popular in school — known among his many friends as "Q" or "Q-man" — and beamed with optimism, caringness and charm, friends and family have said.

"Q was such a big part of our lives," Jill Sanford said. "We're doing this one day at a time. People are sending us stuff about him everyday, and the outreach we've been blessed with by these (Highlands Ranch) kids has been remarkable."

Daniel Petty: 303-954-1081 or

This is an earlier obituary:

LITTLETON — Quinton Sanford never let self-doubt hold him back.

He planned to attend the Air Force Academy and act in a movie alongside Will Smith. He was a member of the Highlands Ranch High School wrestling and cross country teams. Although he was neither the fastest runner nor the strongest wrestler, he didn't let that trouble him. He did it all while living with autism.

Sanford, a 15-year-old sophomore, died Wednesday after collapsing during a run with the cross country team.

An autopsy was inconclusive about cause of death. Additional test results are expected in seven to nine weeks.

On Monday, hundreds of his high school peers were among the mourners at Pax Christi Catholic Church for his funeral. It was a poignant display of how a young man with a heart bigger than his disability had become one of the school's most beloved students.

Sanford transcended the social barriers and cliques that often dominate high school, his family said. He sat with different students in the lunchroom every day and was widely known as "Q" or "Q-man."

His father, Frank Sanford, and mother, Jill, were confounded when he joined the wrestling team his freshman year, especially because he had never liked being touched. He later earned a varsity letter.

"He just liked to belong and be part of a team," said his father. "He loved the kids. He wasn't the most gifted athlete. He just had the biggest heart."

He had a knack for remembering names, and friends and family alike were drawn to his unfettered display of happiness and caring for others.

"Everyone to him was the same," Jill Sanford said. "He wasn't worried about what other people thought."

Outside after the funeral, Sanford's high school friends — many clad in school paraphernalia — quietly joined hands to form two lines flanking the pallbearers that carried the casket of their friend. And when the procession emerged from the church, as if on cue, the sun broke momentarily through the overcast sky.

Quinton Frank Sanford was born Nov. 17, 1993, and is survived by his father, Frank; his mother, Jill; his brother, Mitchell, 14; his sister, Jenne Lee, 11; and grandparents Jim and Jenne Lee Twiford and grandmother Kay Sanford.


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