Parents Say ‘Look Before You Lock’

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Michele Terry lost her youngest daughter Mika 6 years ago.  “June 23, 2005 was the day.”

Her husband was driving the baby to daycare that morning when he got a phone call and hit a roadblock.  “He had to back up and go a totally different direction where he didn’t pass the daycare, all while she’s asleep in the back,” she said.

That’s where 6-month-old Mika stayed, while her father went to work at a local church.  Four hours later, he suddenly remembered.  “It hit him like a ton of bricks, and he remembered and it was too late,” she said.

Mika’s story is now being featured in a new public awareness campaign – Look Before You Lock.

Forgetting your own child may seem unthinkable, but in the last 10 years, 65 children in Texas have died of heat stroke inside a car.  So far, this year, another 6 have joined the list.  “Don’t think you’re any kind of special person that this won’t happen to you,” said Terry.

Mika’s picture will appear on pamphlets given to new moms at hospitals nationwide, offering a number of suggestions.  Terry says all she can do now – is share Mika’s story – and hope other parents listen.  “If it can save one child, save one family from the heartache, the guilt,” she said, “Then, then her life meant something.”

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One Comment

  1. nwilson says:

    I remember when this baby died. So sad for this family, but so happy to see something good may come from her sacrifcie. As a mom to 3 kids, both parents are exhausted all the time. Such good information to pass on to new moms. It should also be coming from their doctors when they get a check up. You are so tired and overwhelmed in the hospital after birth.

  2. NiteNurse says:

    While I am NOT a parent I really can’t understand being so absent minded to forget to get your child out of the car. I bet they never have forgotten their smart phone or if they did they ran back immediately for it! Parents make your kids your NUMBER ONE priority!!!

  3. Paul says:

    I don’t see how anyone could be dumb or “frogetful” enough to leave their own child in a car. If they have that much of impaired mental ability, they shouldn’t even be driving or have a child left in their custody.

    Sounds like Darwin’s Law at work, but, unfortunately, only in reverse ..

  4. jerry says:

    They going to a car that tell dum as their a kid in the car. People are to busy with their our live. What in the heil were u thinking . I am parent of 1 child and 1 is enough. That what these people who leave their kids a hot car should think of when they want more kids.

  5. FedUpTxn says:

    The technology exists to change car alarms from a nusance, to a life and property saving device by using motion detection inside the vehicle. Every new car should be required to have this safety feature. This would be a much more effective solution than a public awareness campaign.

  6. Clell says:

    Really, and how much would that drive up the cost of a new car, just because a few knuckleheads are more concerned with their own lives than the lives of their children? You have fallen into the trap which professes that the government should be the solution to all of our problems. This kind of thinking is bankrupting our nation. I had two kids, and I can tell you that I was never unconscious of the fact that I had one or both of my children in the car.

  7. MemsLawson says:

    It always saddens me to see people being so judgemental when it comes to stories such as these. We hear about these types of accidents and we automatically assume that they must be bad parents. I happen to know this family and what I know to be true is that they are amazingly wonderful parents, who more importantly are Christ centered. Fortunately, they know where Mika’s eternity rests, and they can find peace in knowing that. You see, they understand the fact that we were not created for this earth, we were created for an eternity with our Lord. Accidents such as this are never welcomed, however somethimes they happen; it’s what you chose to do with your life afterwards that speaks about who you truly are as a person. This strong family has chosen to devote their energy to helping others in hopes that they can help spare someone else from this type of pain. I am proud to know this family! Nitenurse, Paul, and Jerry, I will be in prayer for you. I pray that the Lord will touch your hearts so that you will come to know His love. Our greatest command was to love one another, just as He loves us.

  8. Niki says:

    I personally know the family that this happened to and I can assure you that these are good people as well as good parents. The grief this caused them is unimaginable. . It was a horrible tragedy & the family paid a price that none of us could personally kmow. You may not “understand” how someone could forget their child but it happens. Obviously statistics prove that. They have created a yearly fundraiser that raises awareness of this specific tragedy to try & prevent someone else from enduring such loss.

  9. LCM says:

    Mems Lawson and Niki, I agree wholeheartedly with your statements. My heart goes out to this sweet family. As a mom of triplets, I know how easy it is to get distracted, going from one task to another while trying to care for little ones throughout the day — into and out of the house — into and out of the car — into and out of the store. One child needs this or that, so, my attention is diverted, etc. I have no doubt that this family never meant any harm to come to their precious Mika. I know that so much good will come from their courage to share their story with others. Their story has already helped my family to be more cautious and diligent about checking the car before we lock it up and head inside. To those who posted such hateful comments about this family: Shame on you! If you had suffered a tragedy such as this, I know that the Terry Family would be the first ones on here offering you love, comfort and help.

  10. YRofTexas says:

    NiteNurse ALWAYS stirs the pot!
    We are weary of his/her constant negative, condemning comments on anything he/she posts.
    NiteNurse, until you get voted in as GOD, kindly keep your comments to more of a positive venting, sparing us your self-important attitude and reflection.
    You are something else!

  11. JBryant says:

    Agree with Mems and Nick completely! I too always thought it was unimaginable how someone could forget, until I heard this story. I grew up with/next to the Terry’s for many years-4 generations back from Mika. They are great people who would do anything for any child in the neighborhood. I’m so thankful that they live in a small town who rallied around them on support, instead of being surrounded by condemnation and accusations from total strangers.

    And Jerry, please seek some assistance raising that poor child. If that is the best you can do with the English language, I’m not sure you could even change a diaper! Seriously, who can’t spell “Hell” correctly????

  12. JBryant says:

    I would also like to point out that this happened six years ago. Every news article released about it on the internet, on the tv, and anywhere else, surely brings that day back like it was yesterday. Every press article brings with it not only the pain of remembrance, but also the pain of having to read and listen to all the negative feedback. The Terry family could have chosen to go back to living their small town private lives and never speak of the tragedy again. Instead, they have chosen to speak openly about what DID happen so that maybe, just maybe, people will listen instead of judging.

  13. Shirley Simpson Farrand Hensiek says:

    I have raised 5 children that are grown with their own children now and am currently raising a grandchild so he makes number 6. I have NEVER NEVER forgotten that my child or children were in the car, even if they were an infant that was asleep. It all goes back to our society that has to blame someone else for their mistakes, My father was too strick, my mother switched my legs. Give me a break My father was very strict and my mother switched my legs just for what I did that she didn’t see me do. I grew up a responsible adult/parent. None of my children have left their child in the car, they know they are there and are resonsible for taking care of them. Get off the blame game and grow up and be responsible. Just as said before you don’t go off and leave your phone or latte in the car. Get responsible and act like the adult you are supposed to me.

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