Local baby safely back at home thanks to watchfulness and a tiny sock

Dysart parents raise awareness on safe sleep

Amelia Lorenzen, baby daughter of Dysart residents Bri and Logan Lorenzen, pictured this past June at home. –Photo courtesy of Bri Lorenzen

The night of July 26 proved to be one of the scariest of their lives for young parents Bri and Logan Lorenzen but thanks to a little sock known as the ‘Owlet’ and some guardian angels watching over their four-month-old daughter Amelia, the family is back at home in Dysart – safe, healthy, and thriving.

That fateful Tuesday evening began like any other for the first-time parents with Bri sitting down in a rocking chair with Amelia in her arms, working to quietly lull her baby daughter to sleep.

But suddenly the calm was broken and every parent’s worst nightmare began to play out for Bri and Logan as the monitoring device Amelia wore on her foot every night – her Owlet – indicated the baby was experiencing low oxygen.

“When I stood up,” Bri wrote on Facebook the day after the experience, “she was limp and grey in my arms – we shook her chest and yelled for her. After what felt like forever we heard a soft cry and she came out of it.”

After being admitted to the pediatric floor of Allen Hospital in Waterloo later that evening for monitoring, Amelia was diagnosed with BRUE – a Brief Resolved Unexplained Event.

Logan Lorenzen (left) keeps watch over his four-month-old daughter Amelia (right) on the evening of Tuesday, July 26, as she lies on a hospital bed at Allen Hospital in Waterloo following an episode of low oxygen, skin color and muscle tone change. –Photo courtesy of Bri Lorenzen

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), BRUE is a short-term, temporary event with “no clear cause that is frightening to the observer and consists of a combination of apnea, color change, muscle tone change, and choking or gagging in an infant.”

“There [was] no reason for [Amelia] to stop breathing,” Bri further wrote of her daughter’s experience, “she [was] healthy and awake just minutes before. Thankfully after testing and overnight monitoring she was cleared to go home and is doing fine.”

But it was the watchfulness of Amelia’s Owlet that enabled her parents to save the day, according to her mother.

“We truly believe it would have been a different outcome if she wasn’t wearing her Owlet,” Bri wrote.

The Owlet

Bri and Logan Lorenzen of Dysart pictured Sunday, June 26, with their baby daughter Amelia following her baptism at Zion Lutheran Church in Dysart. –Photo courtesy of Bri Lorenzen

In the last five years, the Owlet Smart Sock – an alarm device worn on a baby’s foot that tracks oxygen levels and heart rate – has become as essential to many new parents as bottles, binkies, blankets, and baby monitors.

The company Owlet was founded in 2012 by a quartet of college graduates in Utah who were all in the initial stages of parenthood – either expecting or brand new parents.

Earlier this year, the device was rebranded from the Smart Sock to the Dream Sock – and briefly pulled from the market altogether – after the company received notice from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) that Owlet’s marketing strategy had run afoul of FDA guidelines. The Owlet Dream Sock is currently not FDA-approved as a medical device although the company has been pursuing such authorization.

But for thousands of parents like the Lorenzens the device provides much-needed peace of mind – and raises the alarm that something might be remiss – when it comes to that confounding disorder SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

SIDS is defined as the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than one-year-old. According to NIH, it is the leading cause of death in children between one month and one year of age.

In a follow-up interview with the Telegraph, Bri said Amelia did not have any preexisting conditions that would have warranted monitoring her oxygen and pulse levels prior to the night of July 26 but that the risk of SIDS led them to use the Owlet.

There is no known cause for SIDS and no sure way to prevent it which has led many parents and caregivers to put their trust in the company Owlet.

Parents like Mark and Elisha Palmer of La Porte City – the couple founded the nonprofit Knox Blocks Foundation more than five years ago in the wake of their baby son Knox’s death from SIDS. Since launching in 2017, the foundation works to provide the Owlet Smart Sock – now Dream Sock – to families in need across the U.S.

It was Knox Blocks Foundation that enabled the Lorenzens to slip the little sock onto Amelia’s foot.

“We wouldn’t have known the importance of safe sleep and the Owlet if it wasn’t for all their work spreading the message,” Bri wrote on Facebook about the Palmers’ foundation.

In her follow-up interview, Bri told the Telegraph they had been randomly gifted an Owlet from a foundation board member in honor of Knox’s fifth birthday.

Back at home

Today, Amelia – lovingly called ‘Millie’ by her parents – is back at home and back to her happy self, Bri said.

“The doctor said 90 percent of the time this never occurs again and she will go on to be fine,” Bri told the Telegraph. “Completely random like SIDS.”

In the days since that awful Tuesday evening, Bri and Logan have continued to credit not only the Owlet but the little angel behind Knox Blocks Foundation for saving their baby’s life.

“We have to acknowledge all of sweet Millie’s guardian angels looking after her,” Bri wrote at the end of her initial Facebook post. “[E]specially a little boy who we know helped keep her safe.”

For more information on how to reduce a baby’s risk of SIDS, visit the NIH website https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sids/conditioninfo/reduce

According to NIH, research has shown the following to be effective in reducing a baby’s risk of SIDS: placing baby to sleep on their back; using a firm and flat sleep surface for baby; feeding baby breastmilk and/or breastfeeding; sharing a room with baby; keeping soft objects out of baby’s sleep space.

For more information on Knox Blocks Foundation visit the non-profit’s website: https://www.knoxblocks.org