Grieving parents hope to expand use of carbon monoxide detectors
February 16, 2010 at 11:32 PM EST - Updated June 19 at 3:26 PM
The parents of a Boca Raton sixth grader who died during a sleepover at a friend's house are trying to save the lives of other children.
Caitlin Brondolo, 12, died last May, along with her friend, 11-year-old Amber Wilson, during a sleepover at Amber's house, when authorities say Amber's mother left the car running in the garage.
"It's something I'll never make sense of, it still doesn't make sense," said Jill Brondolo, Caitlin's mother.
"What's done is done and nothing is gonna bring the girls back and we wish her (Amber's mother) well and we hold no ill will towards her. We'd just like the healing process to continue," said Christopher Brondolo, Caitlin's dad.
Now, Caitlin's parents have set up a college scholarship fund in Caitlin's memory.
They also plan to get hospitals in south Florida to provide a free carbon monoxide detector for mothers of newborns, so when they leave the hospital with a bag of gifts they will have a carbon monoxide detector for their home.
They believe more homes should have such a detector, because it will save lives. They point out that many homes have smoke detectors, but few have a carbon monoxide detector. They believe the two girls would still be alive if Amber's home had one.
The Brondolos say the tragedy has been difficult for them.
"It's increased our faith, knowing that even though we're going through this hard time that it's not for naught because God has a plan for all of us and we just believe that she was taken for a reason," said Christopher Brondolo, Caitlin's dad.
"We'd like to, through the foundation, to be able to give a carbon monoxide detector to every family that's had a newborn, and they can bring that home with them. It's something that people don't normally think of as being important, but it really is," said Jill Brondolo, Caitlin's mother.
"I think they'll make a tremendous difference. A carbon monoxide detector in a house will save children as well as adults. You're not gonna smell it, you're not gonna taste it. It's odorless. A carbon monoxide detector is the only thing that's gonna tell you it's present," said Randi Farina, executive director of the Caitlin Brondolo Charitable Foundation.
They are planning a charity golf tournament in Caitlin's memory May 14 at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton. For more information, you can go to their website www.caitlinfoundation.org.