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Anderson mom shares baby formula following loss of infant twin sons

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 11:21:32-04

ANDERSON — Baby formula is still in high demand across the country.

WRTV has told stories of businesses stepping in, pediatricians stepping up and parents banding together during the shortage.

Now, one Anderson mother is joining the efforts to help other moms after unexpectedly losing her twin sons.

Shelby Dugan-Meltzer no longer has use for the formula that she previously stocked up on in anticipation for her sons.

Her twins Forrest and Foster were born on February 14, 2022.

"Just these little perfect bundle of joys," Dugan-Meltzer said. "They were little when they were born, Foster was 5.6 (lbs.) and Forrest was 5.12 (lbs). They were perfect in every single way."

She said they were hard to tell apart.

"They were so identical that they still had their bracelets on their ankles when Foster passed away because I couldn't tell them apart," Dugan-Meltzer said.

Foster passed away just shy of one month old. He died from sudden infant death syndrome.

"You never ever think you are going to do CPR on your 30-day-old baby," Dugan-Meltzer said.

Dugan-Meltzer had been breastfeeding the twins, but the heartbreak of losing Foster was too much and Forrest was having acid reflux. So she turned to formula.

Forrest was taking the formula until he passed away too just shy of 3 months old. Dugan-Meltzer said he had just been to the doctor. The coroner found pneumonia among other ailments.

"He started to get giggly, and love his brothers, and love to just cuddle," Dugan-Meltzer said.

With cans of formula stacked up and no use for it, she decided to get rid of it.

"Those cans I bought $35 a piece, and I have 15 cans," she said. "Even though it's hurting me inside, someone else is a little relieved."

Though some formula is back on the shelves after the shipment through the fly formula operation by President Biden and the plant in Michigan opening back up, some formula is still hard to find.

Dugan-Meltzer said she decided to help in a time of desperation for many parents, in honor of her two sons.

She had a message for other parents.

"Just hug your babies, cause time is of the essence and you just don't know when they'll be gone," Dugan-Meltzer said.