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“They put joy back into our Christmas”


Clarenville RCMP have done everything they can to ease the burden of a local family going through the hardest Christmas they’ve ever had.

Megan King and Brandon Slaney had just welcomed their baby daughter Shyla on Oct. 20 of this year and were already planning for Christmas along with their three-year old son, Jayden.

However, on the morning of Nov. 17, tragedy struck. At not even a month old, the baby died suddenly in what was eventually determined to be crib death.

The RCMP went to King’s residence and also conducted the investigation, as is procedure with these cases. But the RCMP officers who responded to King’s home kept the grieving family in their minds and hearts this holiday season.

“Being as how they have children of their own, I guess it kind of struck them close to the heart,” King told The Packet.

Constables Sarah Bass, Ken Hurley, John Collins and Will Carey all showed up at King’s home a few days before Christmas with a special surprise for the family. The officers had taken up a collection and brought them a hamper of gifts for Jayden, gift cards and even a basket of food for Christmas turkey dinner.

“They told my mom they had took up a collection and it wasn’t very much,” said King. “But they came through the door with three bags of stuff! It was overwhelming … I was very, very emotional.

“To see the look on (Jayden’s) face, it meant the world to us.”

King said they had already started preparing for Christmas but the gifts from the RCMP ensured they wouldn’t have to go out and get many of the things they needed for the holiday.

“That was one of the things I found very hard, going out and buying Christmas presents and not being able to buy presents for (Shyla) … it definitely alleviated some of that — the emotional part,” King said.

She can’t thank the police officers enough.

“It put joy back into our Christmas because Christmas this year was going to be extremely hard. They did something that we will remember for the rest of our lives,” she said.

The gesture also really helped young Jayden recognize the positive presence of police in his community. King said he associated people in uniform with something bad happening. Now he sees the good in those people too.

“It’s definitely shown him that people in uniform are there to help,” she said.

King said she looks at everything the RCMP have done for her as presents from her daughter.

“In my heart, that’s what I tell myself, it’s gifts from Shyla,” she said.

 

jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons

Megan King and Brandon Slaney had just welcomed their baby daughter Shyla on Oct. 20 of this year and were already planning for Christmas along with their three-year old son, Jayden.

However, on the morning of Nov. 17, tragedy struck. At not even a month old, the baby died suddenly in what was eventually determined to be crib death.

The RCMP went to King’s residence and also conducted the investigation, as is procedure with these cases. But the RCMP officers who responded to King’s home kept the grieving family in their minds and hearts this holiday season.

“Being as how they have children of their own, I guess it kind of struck them close to the heart,” King told The Packet.

Constables Sarah Bass, Ken Hurley, John Collins and Will Carey all showed up at King’s home a few days before Christmas with a special surprise for the family. The officers had taken up a collection and brought them a hamper of gifts for Jayden, gift cards and even a basket of food for Christmas turkey dinner.

“They told my mom they had took up a collection and it wasn’t very much,” said King. “But they came through the door with three bags of stuff! It was overwhelming … I was very, very emotional.

“To see the look on (Jayden’s) face, it meant the world to us.”

King said they had already started preparing for Christmas but the gifts from the RCMP ensured they wouldn’t have to go out and get many of the things they needed for the holiday.

“That was one of the things I found very hard, going out and buying Christmas presents and not being able to buy presents for (Shyla) … it definitely alleviated some of that — the emotional part,” King said.

She can’t thank the police officers enough.

“It put joy back into our Christmas because Christmas this year was going to be extremely hard. They did something that we will remember for the rest of our lives,” she said.

The gesture also really helped young Jayden recognize the positive presence of police in his community. King said he associated people in uniform with something bad happening. Now he sees the good in those people too.

“It’s definitely shown him that people in uniform are there to help,” she said.

King said she looks at everything the RCMP have done for her as presents from her daughter.

“In my heart, that’s what I tell myself, it’s gifts from Shyla,” she said.

 

jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons

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