Young mother copes with unbearable loss
One need look no further than Amy Cote’s Myspace page to know how important her 4-year-old son was to her.
On the Web site where other 25-year-olds post glamour shots and party photos, Cote’s headline reads “Jacob’s Mommy.”
“He was my world. He was my everything,” the single mother said Tuesday from her sister’s home.
Cote hasn’t been back to her own home since Jacob was found unresponsive by his grandmother on the floor in his bedroom Thursday.
After Carson City deputies Dan Ochsenschlager and Rick Encinas tried unsuccessfully to revive him, paramedics were able to get a pulse.
But the following night, with his mother watching in horror and more than half a dozen hospital workers trying frantically to save him, Jacob slipped away.
Cote went to her child, the little boy she called her best friend, and held his hand in her own. She whispered in his ear, “Don’t be afraid.”
Then for a half hour, after doctors removed the tubes and wires, Cote held her baby.
She remembered how she always teased him for being so little. How she practically begged him to grow. But on this day he felt so heavy.
“And I looked at him and I thought, I know I wanted you heavier, but not this way,” she said.
An autopsy failed to determine the cause of death, said Detective Dave Le Gros.
Le Gros said nothing leading up to the death has offered any clues either – Jacob was suffering a slight fever and cough. His grandmother was staying with him that day while his mom worked at a nearby convenience store.
The two were watching a movie when Jacob got up an went into his room. Five minutes later, said Cote, her mother went to check on him and found him slumped in the corner. Thinking he was asleep, she picked Jacob up. As she carried him she noticed his lips were blue and he was not breathing. She called paramedics.
Now all that Cote is left with are questions and grief – unbearable grief, she said, kept at bay by attending to the details of planning her only child’s funeral.
“Right now I have this to focus on and so that helps, but after that – when it’s final – that is when I don’t know how I’m going to be able to live. He was my life. Everything I did was for him,” she said.
Cote’s friends and family have rallied around her, collecting donations of flowers for the funeral and a plaque to mark Jacob’s grave.
The funeral home also has waived all fees except for the plot and casket.
Now, they work toward gathering the $1,250 needed to pay it in full by Friday.
Family friend Debbie Barnham said a checking account has been set up to help Cote with the costs.
“In Amy’s mind, he was the best thing she’d ever done,” Barnham said. “She asked me, ‘Who am I now?’ and I told her, ‘You are still that little boy’s mommy.'”
“I just hope that we can all give her the strength to get through this and move forward,” said Barnham. “He was a beautiful, beautiful little boy.”