Oct, 13
Dr. Sam Hanke

About the Author Dr. Sam Hanke

Sam Hanke, MD, is a pediatric cardiologist at Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute and Affiliated Faculty at the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s. He lives with his wife, Maura, and children, Owen and Annie, in Cold Spring, Kentucky.


  1. God Bless those little people…don’t know what else to say….

    Rick Martin - October 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm Reply
  2. Tears flow as I read your story. At 3:30pm, Jan. 18, 2013, I received the call that my 5 month old grandson Aden wasn’t breathing. He was at the sitters so I immediately drove there and found my daughter screaming outside the ambulance. My daughter Ashley was a nanny in college and has always been a strong advocate of safe sleep. She is a teacher and always brought a sleep sack to the sitters each day. On this day, the sitter laid Aden on his side and tucked a blanket next to him. He was found face down with his head in the blanket. It’s been tough to deal with the feeling that this could have been prevented. My daughter has turned this tragedy into helping others as you have. On Oct. 5th we held our 1st Annual 5K run/walk and kids run. We had 300 runners and walkers and we have raised between $15,000 and $18,000- final figures are not in yet. We are providing sleep sacks and safe sleep packages to 4 area hospitals. I’m so proud of my daughter and what she has accomplished. I hope to attend your event someday and plan to buy your book and give as baby gifts. God bless you. Nana

    Pamela Argubright - October 26, 2013 at 10:37 am Reply
  3. Thank you for this article. As someone who has ensured her crib is safe for baby, I fell asleep last night nursing our infant. She’s fine, but I think too many of us do as you said and have the cute daddy infant napping photos or fall asleep with our baby in our arms. I can’t imagine the grief that you have all been through, but I appreciate the sharing of your story to others.

    Sarah - October 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm Reply
  4. Our Grandson is 2 weeks old.. Both my daughter and I have both fallen asleep holding Owen. Thank you for sharing your story, I have learned some do’s and dont’s that I wasn’t aware of. I also teach a prenatal nutrition class and meet hundreds of expectant moms each year.. I will pass on your story and your website info and get it listed as a resource. Thank you for your openness into your private life. Thank you for sharing Charlie with us.

    Peg - October 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm Reply
  5. Thank you Sam, for sharing your personal story. I didn’t know the details of your tragedy. God Bless you, Maura and your children. I know lives are being saved through your work and Charlie’s Kids Foundation. Proud of what you’re doing.
    See you soon at work.

    Dorothy Everts - October 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm Reply
  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I am a mother of 3 and grandmother of 5. I must admit that I have let my kids and grsndkids fall asleep on my chest. I won’t be doing that anymore with any new grsndkids that GOD blesses me with thank you for telling your story!

    Donna - October 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm Reply
  7. This is a very sad tragedy. I’m glad you are educating others on the practices of safe sleep and back to sleep. It’s very important. I was curious of your use of the term SIDS instead of asphyxiation, as there is no known cause of SIDS. Continue on with your good work.

    Jennifer - October 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm Reply
  8. What an amazing article. I work as a pediatric emergency medicine physician. Unfortunately, I have to deal with the consequences and have seen many families lives torn apart. It is always very heart wrenching. I hope others read this article and realize that even in our most fatigued moments, we need to put the baby in the crib to sleep. A safe environment is important. I fell asleep several times in the middle of the night, on the couch, with the baby on my chest. We also have the cute “daddy” pictures of our baby sleeping on his chest. That was 12 years ago, but this article reinforced what we all learned in residency and heard in the doctor’s office. You are saving lives with this campaign. Thank you so much.

    Michele - October 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm Reply
  9. Dr Sam,
    Thank you for sharing your story. Im so sorry for your loss. As a parent, I know, we all would do everything in our power, to keep our babies safe. You and your wife should be commended for how your remembering Charlie, by helping and educating so many. I will pass this on to everyone. And also let them know, that this is a story written by a wonderful doctor who personally cared for my daughter, in CICI, during one of the most stressful times in our life, at Children’s Hospital. And we will forever be grateful.

    Lori - October 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm Reply
    1. CICU

      Lori - October 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm Reply
  10. Dr. Hank and Maura, thank you for sharing Charlie’s story with us. I can only imagine how much faith and strength it must have taken take to get your lives back together after the loss of your beautiful son. My guess is that you probably hear this a lot but I think you are both remarkable people. Charlie lives on through your hard work and he speaks to everyone who reads (or listens to) his book. Thank you for being such a great example of courage, love and resilience

    Gloria - November 5, 2013 at 10:00 am Reply
  11. Dear Maura and Sam, thank you so much for sharing your story with us and others. We know and love you well. God blessed us with loving couples like you. Thank you for having the courage to share your story, but even more, for helping others who grieve also. Thank you for setting up your foundation to share books, but to share safety tips for our beloved babies. I look forward to the time when I will be a grandparent. I will make sure that my own adult children get a copy of your book and are made aware of the safety list for babies! May God continue to bless you and your family!

    Pat - November 5, 2013 at 10:14 am Reply
  12. Dr. Sam and Maura,

    I just started my career here at Children’s and I’ve read your story and it touched my soul. What you and your wife were able to accomplish after your tragedy is amazing to me. To be able to put your emotions aside to want to help other parents is a blessing. I know the Lord helped you and your wife through the toughest moment in your life and is still helping you. Thank you for what you are doing for all he parents out there. God will continue to bless you. I will definitely pass this article to everyone I know with an infant. I’m deeply sorry for your loss and Charlie lives on through his foundation.

    Alexandrea Ware - November 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm Reply
  13. Sam & Maura,
    I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your beautiful son, Charlie. Our perfect grandson, Noah was born on July 21st. On July 25th he died in my daughters arms as she was breastfeeding him. I was there when it happened. I am an RN & was unable to revive Noah. He was revived in the ER, transported to Oakland Childrens Hospital, only to be removed from life support on July 29th. Our lives are shattered right now but we hope someday to have the faith to turn this tragedy into something as positive as you both have. God bless you & your family.

    Amber - September 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm Reply
  14. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it’s also important to remind people to educate the friends, loved ones, and caregivers for their children. Our sitter put our son on a soft mattress with a blanket. His death was ruled positional asphyxiation, so we know for sure that his death was caused by unsafe sleeping practices. I had told his sitter that I didn’t feel comfortable putting Drew on his stomach to sleep, but I guess I wasn’t adamant enough to show her that she shouldn’t do it either. It’s so tempting because they sleep so much better on their tummies, but it’s not worth the risk.

    Amy Sagona - February 4, 2015 at 12:44 am Reply
  15. I am a parent of a son that died of SIDS just over 20 years ago…My wife and I have had this song for many years and I finally decided to post it on YouTube as a tribute to our son, Jake Douglas, in the hopes it will help other parents and families heal from the tragedy of suddenly losing your child.

    It was written and performed by Jim Gibson in San Jose at a SIDS benefit for a child named Nolan, whom also passed away from SIDS. The lyrics are embedded in video as well as posted below in the notes..Please share with anyone you know that may benefit from this!

    It has religious words, so if you are not religious, this song may not be for you

    Doug - April 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm Reply
  16. How come its so hard to get over the death of your own child i had a son who had died from sids at 3 months and 4 day i woke up and found my son dead in bed with me laying next to me this is the worse pain anyone needs to go through

    lera - June 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm Reply

Leave a Comment