(Photo: Ashlee Hammac/Facebook)
Ashlee Hammac lived every mother's nightmare when her newborn, Ryan Michael Jolley, died five days after birth in October 2013. Her placenta burst during birth, depriving the baby of oxygen, and he had no brain activity within days.
When she decided to decorate Ryan's grave, Hammac thought of her 3-year-old son Tucker, who met Ryan in the hospital but never got to play with him. The Lake City, Fla. mother had a sandbox filled with blue sand and trucks placed in front of the baby's tombstone so Tucker can spend time with his little brother.
"He always goes out there with me, and sits out there, and sings lullabies, and talks to him just like he was there," Hammac told People Magazine. "So I wanted it to be special for him too."
Hammac's story went viral after she posted a photo of Tucker and Ryan's sandbox on Facebook. She now honors her late son's memory through Pages to Memories, a non-profit that donates books and blankets to hospitals so families can connect with their ailing newborns.
Despite his short life, Ryan made a lasting impact on the world. His little heart was donated to save the life of another baby.