On an awful day in December 2008, her husband Dan Dodson called to say their 19-month-old son Alexander was in the hospital. He would not say what was wrong.
"Dan is telling me, "I had to take Alexander to the emergency room. You have to get here right away,'" Emerson recalled. She rushed to the hospital. "As soon as I saw him, I just knew."
The exact cause of Alexander's death while he slept remains unknown, making him a victim of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, or SUDC. It is rarer than Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which afflicts children less than a year old, but is no less devastating.
SUDC is diagnosed when all possible causes of death have been ruled out. It has a reported incidence of 1.2 deaths per 100,000 children, compared to 54 deaths per 100,000 for SIDS, according to the SUDC Program.http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-21/1285652736111280.xml&coll=5