After losing her newborn son Ryan just five days after his birth, Ashley Hammac did something for her son, Tucker, to help him keep the memory of his brother alive.
She buried Ryan at the Falling Creek Cemetery outside of Lake City, Florida, and built a sandbox on top of the grave.
“Just so that Tucker could have a place to come out and still play with his brother, cause he was excited the whole time I was pregnant, about getting to be able to play with his brother and said he was going to share his trucks with him so when this happened we wanted a spot where he could be included too,” Ashley told KOAA.
Ryan passed from Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephlepathy, known as HIE, which occurs from a lack of blood flow to the brain.
After sharing photos of the grave site on Facebook on March 2, over 200,000 people shared the photos and the story was eventually picked up by People Magazine.
In her interview with KOAA, Ashley said she was completely blown away at the response and how many people had heard about Ryan’s story. “I wasn’t even expecting to share it with the world, like I said I shared it with my family…And then it blew up, I was amazed. But I am happy that it did because now I can get the word out to our charity which is Pages to Memories.”
As for Tucker and his relationship with his baby brother, he absolutely loves visiting him. “He likes it a lot when we come out here. Sometimes he asks to come out here without me even having to say “do you want to go?…He’ll ask sometimes. It is like another park for him,” said Ashley.
Ashley is now hoping that the attention the photos of Tucker, Ryan and the sandbox have received will help spread the word about her Facebook page working to raise funds for HIE research.