Stokely Malcolm Andrews, the “miracle” son of Mari and Malcolm Andrews was born on the morning of June 25, 2015. The same day as his maternal grandfather, Zeff Richardson and his paternal beloved late grandmother Francis H. Smith.  Stokely spent the first few days of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit due to low blood sugar.  After consuming endless amounts of calories he was deemed strong enough to return to his parents and to be released from the Anne Arundel Medical Center where he was tended to by an amazing team of doctors and nurses.  From there, he was raised in his loving home with his parents and his two beautiful sisters, Sidni and Halen, who adored him and he adored them also.  As his body grew, his heart and mind grew.  He became curious, inquisitive and learned to love as he had been loved.

On June 13, 2017, in Washington, DC while at his licensed childcare provider’s home day care, Stokely Malcolm Andrews tragically drowned in an inflatable pool filled with water while trying to fetch a ball.  There was no adult present in the back yard supervising the children for over 20 minutes.  While his childcare provider left the daycare to attend a graduation of a family member, she left an unauthorized, untrained, un-background checked adult in charge of the children.   He passed 2 weeks shy of his 2nd birthday.  Stokely’s death was not an accident but was deemed as one because of the way the criminal law in the District of Columbia is written.  It was 100% preventable.  We vividly remember leaving Children’s National Hospital in DC after the loss of our son feeling lost, lonely and hopeless with nowhere to turn.

Our son was not only our miracle, he was our pride and joy, our heartbeat.  His laughter could fill any room.  His smile could brighten any day.  His absence from this world is felt deeply by all the lives he touched.  This has been an immensely painful journey and we will strive to end child fatalities and injuries because of childcare negligence so other families will not have to experience such an indescribable brokenness.