This tragedy could actually happen to any of your kids.

Denise Wunderler Savino tells the most heart-wrenching story about the precious child that they lost.

In Denise's words:

"Our sweet daughter, Vienna Carly Savino, was a healthy toddler, 2 years, 9 months, and 3 weeks old, when she died of no cause. My husband and I were on our way home from a wedding in the early evening of November 12th of last year and never, in a million years, could have anticipated what our babysitter would be calling us about that night.

We received the horrific phone call that our Vienna laid down on a pillow in our family room and, within 10 minutes, our babysitter found her unresponsive and not breathing. After about an hour of resuscitation efforts, she was pronounced dead at 8:05 pm at our local hospital in Holmdel. From then on, our lives would never be the same. And we would never be the same.

(Photo courtesy of the Savino family)

Now we are part of the club no parent ever wants to join -- the 'child loss' parent group. We were introduced to SUDC. That's Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood. SUDC is a category of death in children ages 1 through 18 that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, including an autopsy.

Most often, a seemingly healthy child goes to sleep and never wakes up. There is no cause known, so no way to prevent it. Crucial research (the largest study being the NYU collaboration with Columbia and the Mayo Clinic) is underway but there has been no federal/public funding for these devastating deaths. To clarify, this is not SIDS, which applies to babies 12 months old or less.

If more people actually know and care about SUDC, then maybe one day other parents won't go through the daily torture of having lost a healthy, young child for no reason. She was an amazing little girl and will always be one of our 3 precious Vs (she is survived by two siblings whose names also start with the letter V.)


Hearbroken but Surviving."

(Photo courtesy of the Savino family)

Denise, Mike, and their two other children still can't believe Vienna is gone. Now it is their mission to honor her memory and raise awareness for SUDC. The Savino's will be leading "TEAM VIENNA" as they walk in the Run with the Royals 5K in Sea Bright on Saturday, May 19th, beginning at 10 am.

They would love for anyone to join in. But if you can't make it, the family asks that you please consider walking/running/biking/hiking in Vienna's honor on May 19th, and then send a photo to

Pictures will be posted on Vienna's website. Team Vienna shirts, sold to raise much needed funds for the SUDC Foundation, are available online until this Sunday, May 6th, by CLICKING HERE.

The family also asks that you CLICK HERE to watch this powerful video in memory of those gone too soon. (Vienna is at 1 min. 15 seconds on the left.)

More details about the nightmare that this family went through are available HERE and HERE.

And this is a song about Vienna written by Vienna's Mommy with music by Mr. RAY.

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