Baldivis family finds solace in support group after unexplained death of 14-month-old son


Picking up after Archer’s death: Chloe and Dean Strauch with Ava (7) and Finley (3 months).
Picking up after Archer’s death: Chloe and Dean Strauch with Ava (7) and Finley (3 months).

AFTER the death of their 14-month-old son Archer last year, Baldivis couple Dean and Chloe Strauch felt very alone.

Their son died from Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC), which is very rare.

SUDC involves the death of a child over the age of 12 months that remains unexplained after a thorough medical investigation is conducted.

Mrs Strauch said she did not know of anyone else in WA who has lost a child to SUDC.

“Archer was fine that day, although he did have a slight fever,” she said.

“We took him to a picnic… Archer was put to bed and we checked on him at 9pm and 2am.

“In the morning he had passed away.”

Mrs Strauch was devastated and her six-year-old daughter still struggles.

“There was a lot of isolation, I felt alone,” she said.

“I felt like it was something I did.

“The autopsy was inconclusive.”

Mrs Strauch was so traumatised she reached out for support with SIDS and Kids.

She said SIDS and SUDC were similar because they dealt with the unexplained death of children.

However, Mrs Strauch felt SIDS and Kids did not cater for her because members had lost babies or miscarried.

She found the support she needed through the SUDC Foundation in the United States.

The foundation provides support for families affected by SUDC and runs research programs to find preventative measures against SUDC.

The couple have set up a Facebook page Answers for Archer and are fundraising for the foundation.

They are planning a gala night at the new Crown Towers in July next year.