Midlothian family remembers beloved late daughter with ‘Maeve’s Miles’

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2021 at 9:54 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Maeve Hensel would have turned 3-years old on Aug. 31, but instead of throwing a party, her parents walked “Maeve’s Miles.

Maeve Hensel died unexpectedly in April. The medical examiner placed her death in the category of Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, or SUDC.

“She had the most contagious smile,” said Kristen Hensel, Maeve’s mother. “She loved her brother and was also constantly trying to keep up with him.”

The night she died, Maeve was running a slight fever. Kristen and David Hensel were keeping an eye on her throughout the night when they discovered her unresponsive around one in the morning.

“We did everything we could, called 9-1-1, gave her CPR, but she was gone,” Kristen said.

Maeve Hensel
Maeve Hensel(Family photo)

Ever since her death, The Hensels, along with close friends and family, run ‘Maeve’s Miles,’ a two-mile walk honoring her memory. They also stop at a park bench that has her name engraved on it.

It was the first time the White family was there to express their condolences, as they also know what it’s like to lose a child.

“Preston was such a happy boy; the light of our lives,” said Mathew White, Preston’s father.

Preston died in March 2021. His death is also classified as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. His parents, Jill Kirshner and Mathew White were devastated.

Preston White died in March 2021
Preston White died in March 2021(none)

“We had never even heard of SUDC until Preston died,” White said. “Much like Maeve, he was just a sweet, loving child who taught us what it meant to live a fulfilling life.”

According to the SUDC Foundation, this category of death is rare. In the United States, nearly 400 children are lost to SUDC each year. The majority of them are between the ages of 1 and 4.

The Hensel and White families are now working to change that lack of awareness. They are increasing awareness of SUDC and the heartbreaking effect these lost lives leave behind as their parents learn to live with the unimaginable.

To learn more information about SUDC and to donate to further research, click HERE.

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