Magna family facing the death of their newborn baby & want to warn other parents

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Right now a Magna family is dealing with the harsh reality that their newborn baby might die, and they may have prevented it. The baby suffocated in its sleep.
They want to warn other parents, so the same thing doesn't happen to them.

"I'm just praying to God and hoping for a miracle," said Chelsie Leonard, mother.

Chelsie and Shaun Leonard of Magna don't know if their newborn baby is going to make it.

"Do you blame yourself?” Reporter Brian Carlson asked.

”Yes, yes I do," said Shaun Leonard, father.

They tell Carlson the night of the Fourth of July, Shaun fell asleep cuddling with 6 week old Jersey on his bed. When he woke up he found his 4 year old son had hopped in with them, and was accidently lying on top of his sister.

"I tried waking her up and she wasn't responding," said Leonard.

The Leonard’s don't know how long she couldn't breath, but she had suffocated long enough to cause injury to her brain. Right now she's at Primary Children's Hospital in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Doctors aren’t giving her much chance to live.

"I have 4 other children at home asking when their sister is going to come home and I can't tell them if she is," said Leonard.

As painful as this is, they want to warn other parents to learn from their mistake.

"Everybody is guilty of it. They want to hold their baby, they want to love them... but when it comes to the parents going to sleep the best thing to do is never sleep with your child," said Leonard.

On Monday Carlson talked to an Emergency Room Physician who echoes the same advice.

"That's the time for the baby to be safe in their own space not with you," said Dr. Charles Pruitt, Emergency Room Physician, Primary Children’s Hospital.

The Leonard's are hoping you can avoid their pain and heartache.

"I was asleep, and the one time that she needed me most, I wasn't there, I let her down," said Leonard.

The Leonard’s and Dr. Pruitt also recommend if you want to avoid babies smothering themselves in their sleep, you should also remove things like excessive bedding, blankets and toys from their crib.

If you'd like to help the Leonard family, a fund has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank. The account number is #1385693393. A fund has also been set up at

Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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