BRYCE BALFOUR – ANOTHER FORGOTTEN CHILD DYING IN A HOT VEHICLE

BRYCE BALFOUR

Bryce Balfour

Bryce Balfour

Bryce’s Story as told by his mother, Lyn Balfour.

“When I opened the door and saw my son Bryce not moving, not breathing the world as I knew it would never be the same.  On March 30, 2007, I had to kiss Bryce goodbye and accept the devastating reality that I had killed him, my own son.  Though it was an accident that I couldn’t possibly fathom I would be responsible for, for which I learned later on, was very much preventable.

Lyn and Jarrett Balfour

Lyn and Jarrett Balfour

Here is our story.  On that fateful morning, Bryce was really tired, Jarrett and I both were.  Bryce had a bad cold and was restless and coughing all week, but that Friday morning he was especially lethargic because he had been up all night coughing, stuffed up and miserable.  I was exhausted, long days at work along with sleepless nights.  I was severely sleep deprived, but as Jarrett shook me for the second time to tell me it was time to get up I finally just said in my mind, if I can just make it through today, I can rest this weekend.  As Jarrett got Bryce ready for the day, he dressed him warmly as it was March and had been pretty cool in the mornings for Virginia.

Bryce Balfour

Bryce Balfour

Jarrett and I had had a crazy week; my sister Tina had been borrowing his car as hers was in the shop and so I had been dropping him off, first then Bryce which was not my normal routine.  When he brought Bryce downstairs he looked tired and sleepy.  I can’t remember if I kissed him that morning.  It is a memory that I regret every day.  As we were about to leave out of our home, Jarrett started asking when we were going to get Bryce’s new car seat put in by the fire department.  I relented and said I would do it at lunch if I had time, but after work definitely.  Jarrett took the car seat out to the car and later I would realize he put the car seat where Bryce would normally be strapped in behind the passenger seat.  And this particular day he put Jarrett behind me, the driver’s seat.  Now it is important to note for routine sake that on my way home from work on Wednesday, I picked up Bryce and arrived at home realizing that I hadn’t picked up Jarrett.  Simply because it was a change in our routine.

Bryce Balfour

Bryce Balfour

As I got into the vehicle, Jarrett had already strapped Bryce into his seat and neither one of us remember who put his diaper bag back behind me on the floor board as we started off for the day.  Normally, the diaper bag was up front in the passenger seat along with my purse so I wouldn’t forget to drop it off this Bryce at the baby sitters house, but this week Jarrett had moved them other places in the car because of his size it was uncomfortable to put them on the floor board up front with him.  As we drove off to start our work day, we don’t remember hearing Bryce cooing and laughing in the back, which was not surprising as he had such a restless night.  When I dropped Jarrett off at work, he kissed me and said goodbye.

Bryce Balfour

Bryce Balfour

As I drove off to head to work myself, I received a phone call from my nephew and we talked for several minutes.  I was concerned about him and wanted to talk with him to make sure he was doing ok.  While on the phone with him, I received an urgent phone call from work, by one of my colleagues complaining that flight arrangements had not been paid for and we were honoring a fallen soldier and the concern was that the soldiers’ family wouldn’t arrive in time for the ceremony the next day.  As the transportation officer, it was my job to fix those problems and we had a short time to handle the problem.  I began to think about how I could solve the problem as I drove right past the turn where I would turn to drop off Bryce.

The parking lot where Bryce Balfour died.

The parking lot where Bryce Balfour died.

You see, I would later understand that in my mind, I had made a stop already and my normal reminders, Bryce in the rear passenger seat and the diaper bag all reminders or memory triggers that were normally there were not.  To make matters worse, I had an empty car seat in my field of view, with Bryce quietly sleeping behind me not making a sound.  When I arrived at work, I jumped out and hurried into work without another thought except how to get the flight issue fixed.  It was only 39 degrees when we left the house and the high that day reached up to a measly 66 degrees.  But as I would found out later that would be deadly.

Lyn Balfour

Lyn Balfour

 

After solving the emergency and saving the flight for the soldiers’ family, I went on with my normal day of work.  I answered calls on my work phone and work cell phone as I normally left my personal cell phone in my purse.  People close to me knew to call the work phones if they really needed to get in contact with me.  Around 2, I picked up my personal cell phone to get a number out of it and saw I had a missed call.  It was Whitney, the sitters’ new number.  So I called her and got her voicemail.  I left her a message.  As I started to leave work, excited that we all had been let go an hour early, 4:05 to be exact, I get a call from Whitney.  She asked me how Bryce was doing, I said I wasn’t sure he was with her, and she said, “No, he isn’t here”.  Not realizing that Jarrett didn’t have car, I asked her if Jarrett had picked him up.  Whitney said, “No Lyn you didn’t drop him off this morning.”  As she said it for the second time, it began to sink in that she was saying I had FORGOTTEN to drop him off.  As I drop everything and race to the car my mind is racing back to that morning and I can honestly remember dropping him off.  It was impossible that he was still in the car.

Bryce Balfour

Bryce Balfour

When I began to open the door I could see my little baby, motionless and I was pretty sure not breathing and my heart literally stopped beating.  I began screaming and immediately unstrapped him to start CPR.  As I see a friend start to dial 911, I start crying as I blow breaths into his mouth for my baby to start breathing and praying that it is not too late.  When the ambulance arrives and we rush to the hospital, I am in shock and overcome in disbelief that this cannot be happening to me, I cannot be the type of mother who would accidentally forget her child.  When the doctor comes in and tells me they are working on my precious little boy and it doesn’t look good, I collapse to the ground and start screaming and praying to God to please take me, take my life but let him live, let me take his place.

Bryce and Lyn Balfour

Bryce and Lyn Balfour

Another few minutes pass, which seems like eternity and when the doctor returns, I can see it on her face, my nine month, ten day old son Bryce had died.  I don’t really remember much after that only to recall the look on my husband’s face when he came in the room and a friend had told him our son had died and that he had been forgotten in the car.  Now I can tell you that I hope someday that the horrible memories of that day are replaced with the few happy memories I have of his laugh, his infectious smile and the unconditional love he shined upon us every day.  But for now, I seem to live with the hurt and pain that never lessens and is ever present like a cold stiff blanket surrounding me.  And I will never forget my promise to Bryce as I was cradling him quietly with tears running down my face as I kissed his cold cheek over and over in that hospital room, that I would educate as many parents on the dangers of hyperthermia and how it is absolutely possible to accidentally forget your child because no parent should feel the way I do every day.

God Bless you Bryce, Mommy misses you and this is for you.”

 ~

Raelyn Balfour was charged with second degree murder and felony child neglect for the death of Bryce Balfour.  She was found not guilty.

Lyn Balfour

Lyn Balfour

So I am not going to step around my opinion here – I personally feel that the attitude conveyed by Lyn Balfour is exceptionally disgusting.  It offends my senses that she speaks of Bryce and her role in his death as a sympathy gainer – even if that sympathy is then used to educate her captive audience.  People like Balfour go on and on about how they must live with what happened everyday for the rest of the life, but what they never seem to mention is that they HAVE every day for the rest of their life, while their forgotten children do not.

Bryce Balfour

Bryce Balfour

They can smile, laugh, play with their other children.  They can enjoy the summer sun on their face, and the cool breeze autumn brings.  They will decorate trees at Christmas, and hide tiny chocolate eggs around the house on Easter and wait to see the joy on the children’s faces as they hunt them out.  They will taste popcorn while watching a funny movie, cuddle with a dog on the couch, smell fresh buns when walking into a bakery.  All of the seemingly small things are pleasures they get to continue enjoying, while their dead child may never even know these experiences, may never have tasted popcorn or hunted for Easter eggs, may have never had a pet.  So I have to sit here and say, if you can still live with yourself each and every day, move forward and enjoy these things in life, then you have NOT served justice for the murder of your child.

Lyn Balfour

Lyn Balfour

Balfour has now had 6 children – SIX.  Since leaving Bryce to die in a hot car, she has given birth to FIVE more children.  So for her to sit here and say how sorry she is, how she will always punish herself more than another could – is REVOLTING.  Bryce is dead, and she is enjoying time with her other 5 children, all who were born after Bryce’s death.  Why is she given the privilege of being a mother when she has already cost one of her children his life??

I believe that Lyn Balfour got away with criminally negligent homicide.  I believe she should not be walking free, have more and more children after already neglecting one resulting in his atrocious death.  I will never understand, respect or sympathize with Balfour, I will never say she has gotten what she deserves.

Lyn Balfour

Lyn Balfour

I know that not all of you, in fact many of you will not agree with my opinion, but I am not here to be agreeable.  I am here to start a conversation about a topic that needs to be discussed much more in a public forum, and while my opinions are often extreme, and my tolerance low – we all still pull together, share our thoughts respectfully and make each other and others think about the matter at hand.  We aren’t cookie cutter personalities all agreeing for the sake of agreeing – we are individuals, proud and confident and we show others that all people, from all sides of the fence, can come together, discuss, agree, disagree and they can do so in a safe forum where they will be treated with respect.  So please, give your opinion, get passionate, talk and debate, remember to always do so with respect and let’s work together to keep our children safe.

Bryce Balfour

Bryce Balfour

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~ by LTWH on July 31, 2014.

11 Responses to “BRYCE BALFOUR – ANOTHER FORGOTTEN CHILD DYING IN A HOT VEHICLE”

  1. I have long been angry that this woman has always said she doesn’t feel guilty because she didn’t “mean to do it”!! The issue of more children is also a sore point with me!! She had a 9 month old and was trying to get pregnant again , I believe through AI. She continued to use Bryce’s car seat, toys, etc with the next child. She said there was no sense in spending money on new things. When our 5 day son died, we couldn’t even bear to look at his room and furniture, a friend was kind enough to arrange the removal of those things. Where is her emotion? Her tears? Her remorse?

    • Agreed! Just because you “don’t mean to do something” doesn’t mean your actions are excused and that you are not at fault. It is her fault, whether she likes it not. You should know not to leave your 9 month child in a car unsupervised! Especially if you are aware that the temperature of the weather is rising. It may not be bad for you, but it could be fatal for a child as young as 9 months old!

      Honestly, her behaviour is insulting to her deceased child. :/

      (P.S: I am so sorry about your son. 😦 I hope he is happy up in heaven, may his soul be blessed!)

  2. I agree with the writer here, wholeheartedly. In addition, How could ms. Balfours husband even get over and move past this horrific trauma that she caused in their lives, to even have gotten her pregnant five more times ! I think I would have a divorce hearing after her court hearing ( regarding Bryce) if I were him.

  3. Really WTF! The more I read about these types of cases the more my blood boils and I want to punch one of these if not all these parents in the face!
    Who needs reminders that there child is in the car or that they even have a child to the point. The car seat was on the opposite side, the nappy bag wasn’t where it always is, I didn’t see his toys, I was up all night and was tired, my dog ate my homework! Really these are just bullshit excuses for someone who is self absorbed and not paying attention to there children. Did she mean to do it? Probably not, however I gave birth to my son so that is all the reminding I need to know I have a son!

    Even if my husband puts him in the car I know he is there as I stop and look around to make sure that he is ok when stopped at traffic lights and even if he falls asleep I still know he is there because I GAVE BIRTH TO HIM SO I KNOW I HAVE A SON!!!!!!!
    Seriously if I hear one more excuse leave the lips of these wasted space of parents as to why they left there child in the car I think I will seek out the next parent and deliver my own justice. There is no excuse and I think we as a society need to stop saying “Oh, but it was an accident!” Falling off your bike while learning how to ride is an accident not leaving your child to cook from the inside out and die a horrible death isn’t! And lets not forget about the other piece of shit in this case, the husband! Really 5 more children??? What’s to stop her from leaving any one of these children in a car to essentially die a horrible death? I think that they need to start charging these wasted space of human beings if you can call them that and send a clear message that forgetting because you were busy or tired is not an excuse for leaving your poor defenceless child in the car to die!

    I think we all need to speak up and say it’s not ok and we will not tolerate these piss poor excuses anymore and start to defend the real victims in these cases, the innocent children!

    • Tanya I couldn’t agree with you more!! It drives me to insanity when excuses are made for the parents that were irresponsible saying – oh they are living with punishment enough everyday – BULLSHIT! If a nanny allowed this to happen, do we really think those exact same parents wouldn’t want the nanny held accountable?!?! They would be demanding justice! I have 3 boys, never once, EVER, have I forgotten one of them!!! Even typing that is absurd to me. I am busy, extremely busy, but I am a mother first and I would NEVER forgot one of my boys!

      • I agree and what makes this case worse if it could get any worse is the fact this is told through the eye’s of the mother. Not once in her so called story does she say that she is a bad mother who forgot about her child and should be punished! The fact that she can even put two sentences together also baffles me as being a mother myself to a young boy, if I left him to die in a car I wouldn’t even be able to talk let alone write a story that focuses on myself the whole time and not on the fact that I was responsible for my son’s death!

        My friends think I’m overprotective of my son and yes I probably am, as I will always ring if he is in the care of someone else to make sure he is ok and not tormenting the poor cat or dog! I would rather be known as the overprotective mother than the complacent one who was too self absorbed to even remember my own child. I don’t care how tired you are and as parents this is part and parcel with having children. What I can’t wrap my head around is the fact that her husband could even look at her let alone have 5 more children with her. If I murdered my son and yes I say murdered as this woman is responsible for her son’s death, my husband wouldn’t even talk to me let alone want to have more children with me! I think he would want to kill me and rightfully so as I myself would be responsible and not concoct some bullshit story about how my life as a whole was much more important than remembering I have a child!

        It still angers me that these parents and I say this rather loosely need to be reminded that they have children!!!!!! FFS you need to put down the cell phone and pay a little more attention to what you should be remembering the life of your child and not that important call you think you need to make. I’m busy and I still remember to pick up my son or drop him off when he is in the car as I pay attention to him and not on myself! Sorry for the rant but I just can’t take these bullshit excuses anymore and really want to hurt these parents myself for the pain they caused there beautiful child. I’m sure some will read this and think I’m heartless for thinking this however think just for 1 second what this poor little baby went through and then tell me I’m heartless.

        I agree as we all want justice for our children, however justice in this case would only be served if someone else was responsible like a nanny or babysitter and even then I doubt they would get any jail time as they would simply say “Oh, I forgot” or “I’m sorry” which really means I was too focused on myself to even remember what I should be remembering. This to me is 1000% child abuse and until we start holding these scumbags accountable for there actions then justice will never truly be done in these cases I’m afraid to say. Unfortunately we can’t bring back these little angels, however we can give them some long overdue justice and show the world that the victim isn’t the mother, father, nanny or friend but the child themselves.

  4. I’ve read so many reports like this, that whenever I read that the parent and/or guardian forgets about their children, I just roll my eyes irritatingly. Come on, how does one manage to forget about their own offspring? Being busy isn’t an excuse, my parents are both busy with life too, but me and my younger brother are still alive! :/

    I wish some “parents” would stop pulling the excuses already, thinking that it’ll immediately mean that their actions will be forgiven and that they are innocent. Their actions cost the life of an innocent child, they don’t deserve to be forgiven!

    Personally, I think that this mother is pulling the pity card. If I lost a child in an incident like this, I’d be so grief-ridden that I couldn’t bare to let alone write that whole block of text! If the mother was really remorseful, I bet she wouldn’t even be sitting on the Internet typing the dilemma all out. -_-

  5. Of course these parents are responsible for their actions. For killing their own children. But they are all guilty of believing this could never happen to them. That is their crime. Please don’t fall victim to the same way of thinking. If you can forget your phone or your wallet, you could forget your child. We’re all human.

    That doesn’t make this tragedy FORGIVABLE. But it is PREVENTABLE.

    I love my children fiercely, and can’t imagine ever forgetting them. But I still take precautions. For example, I toss my shoe in the back seat of my car when I load my children in. It’s a trivial thing, but it just might snap me out of auto-pilot if something distracted me. I hope.

    “Most people refuse to take any precautionary measures because they believe this could never happen to them, a potentially fatal mistake.”

    http://www.kidsandcars.org/2016/06/29/an-epidemic-of-children-dying-in-hot-cars-a-tragedy-that-can-be-prevented/

    • Exactly. People lose a lot of time judging these parents instead of learning how the brain works and seeing it could happen to anyone.
      BECAUSE I’m a loving parent, I’ll take precautions. I don’t want my “better than thou” ego to be responsible for my child’s death just because I thought this could never happen to me.

    • Nice try, but nobody here believes you. It isn’t the same as forgetting your phone or your wallet (and I have never done either). it’s murder, plain and simple. You toss your shoe in the back of your car to prevent you from forgetting that your child is in there? Then you’re an idiot who shouldn’t have had children, or should never take them in the back seat of you car, because you are obviously incapable of providing proper parental care. Can you explain where I’m wrong?

  6. Look at the bottom photo of her – I presume this was taken just after she was arrested. Does she look like she has been crying? No.
    This could not “happen to anyone”, and every idiot spreading this meme is responsible for all the murders of children in hot cars that will happen this year, and next year, and forever into the future, because parents who want to kill their children will realise there are enough stupid, brainwashed idiots who can’t face the fact that there are evil people in the world, and will kill their children via this method, then claim “I forgot”, and get let off. Time after time…

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