Beyond the Sidelines: Junglings speak about loss of first born son

National Sports

Every high school coach will tell you losses are hard to get over, but Mandan High softball coach Ryne Jungling and his wife are dealing with the loss they will never forget. For the first time, the Junglings speak publicly about the loss of their first born son, Anders.

“For a long time, Ryne and Rachel Jungling tried everything to have a child.

“It kind of took a while to sink in just because it was so surprising,” Rachel said. 

“That call that said she was pregnant and that it was a definite,” Ryne said. 

“They said I was really pregnant,” Rachel said. “Later the ultrasound showed two little dots on there.”

On Jan. 30, 2018, twins Anders and Linnea were born six weeks premature and spent 20 days in a neonatal intensive care unit before they were allowed to come home.

“When [the twins] were in the hospital for 20 days,” Ryne said, “it really helped that they were on a schedule. They just unplugged everything and said, ‘Here you go.’ I was like, ‘Wait a minute, something seems a little off with this.”

All seemed normal in the Jungling’s world until the morning of Jan. 10, 2019, when Rachel received a phone call from her daycare provider about Anders.

“Our daycare provider took Linnea out of the car seat,” Rachel said. “I looked at Anders and I said, ‘Bye, buddy.’ He gave me the cutest little smile. The next thing I know I’m at work and I get a call that something had happened. A police officer had called and he said that they were taking Anders to the hospital. 

“When we got to the hospital I just remember being so confused, because there was a detective there. The detective said something about how Anders was in his car seat.

“The daycare called 9-1-1. The [paramedics] came and they were able to perform CPR. [The paramedics] did CPR for 40 minutes and they got his heart started again.”

“When we got to the emergency room,” Ryne said, “really quickly the doctors realized that they couldn’t take care of him.

“I probably got to the hospital around 10:30 a.m. and we were back [home] getting ready to go to Fargo at 11:30 a.m.

“When we got there, Dr. Storm met with us right away. It was pretty much a waiting game at that point. 

“When we woke up on Friday morning, we started to realize just how bad the situation was. Rachel asked one of the doctors a question, ‘What are his chances of coming back from this?’ and the doctor’s response was, ‘It was pretty unlikely that he would wake up from this.” 

Ryne and Rachel said their son died because he suffocated. After Rachel dropped him off at the daycare, Anders was placed on the floor in his car seat. Anders’ position made breathing difficult.

“When a car seat is in a base,” Rachel said. “the baby’s airway is open because they are tilted back a little bit, but on a floor, they are not in a base and your head can kind of slouch down.”

The Junglings admit they used an unlicensed daycare professional.

“[The daycare provider] purposely sat him down in his car seat to nap,” Rachel said. “In a licensed daycare you are not allowed to do that.”

Ryne and Rachel say the support they received from their pastor and family is how they were able to deal with such a tough loss.

“When we got done with the weekend,” Ryne said. “we looked back and it was so obvious that there is a God and that God is in control even in a really, really terrible, awful situation.”

KXMB Sports asked Ryne and Rachel if they would tell their daughter about Anders and they said they believe they do not need to because she knows. They also said Anders will always be apart of their lives.

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