JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (KAKE) — A Florida family is heartbroken over the deaths of 4-year-old twins who suffocated after falling asleep in a toy chest late last month. 

Officers and EMS in Jacksonville responded on Saturday, August 26 to a medical emergency involving two children. They arrived to find the twin girls, Aurora and Kellan Starr, unresponsive and pronounced them dead despite lifesaving measures, WJXX reports.

"Not many will know the pain of losing two children at the same time, and losing them in a way that makes no sense, but I have to believe that something in this universe chose them specifically, maybe to protect them from some future tragedy, or maybe because their souls were too perfect for this world," the girls' mother, Sadie Myers, said on Facebook. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office initially reported that the girls died of a medical emergency, the state's Department of Children and Families agency stated they suffocated in a "footlocker/toybox."

Myers said that the night before, the father put all four of their kids to bed while she was at work. At some point early Saturday morning, the twins woke up and played in their room. Myers said they often did that and usually fell back asleep in a weird place in their room with toys left everywhere. 

"Friday night, the weird place they decided to snuggle up and go back to sleep was in their cedar toy chest that we use to store all their stuffed animals.. They pulled out all but a couple stuffed animals, I guess they left some to keep it comfy in there, then they laid inside head to toe with one arm each over their twin and I’m assuming said “good night kell kell” and “night night sissy”… Sometime during their sleep one of them must have moved or kicked during a dream and it caused the lid of this old wooden cedar chest to close," Myers' post said.

Myers said she didn't know that when the wooden toy chest closed, it became air tight and sound proof. 

"As they slept, all snuggled up together, they slowly ran out of oxygen within a couple of hours and passed away. They never even knew it was happening. There was no sudden gasp for air, it was a very slow transition from sleep to passing on," she said. 

Myers said when she woke up to get ready for work Saturday, her two older boys were playing outside and she assumed the twins were still sleeping. Their father went to check on them, but the girls were not in their beds.

"We ALL immediately started panicking, yelling for them, turning the house upside down, yelling up and down the street, then Axton yelled 'Mommy I found them! They are so silly just sleeping in the toy box,' so I ran in to check and within a few seconds I knew something wasn’t right, but I also quickly realized it was already too late… It makes no sense to me and never will." 

A GoFundMe for the family has raised over 27,000 as of Thursday, September 7.  

WJXX reports that according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 34 deaths of children under 18 were been reported between 1996 and 2014 involving toy chests. Since 2005, more than 21,500 toy chests have been recalled due to hazards including strangulation, entrapment, injury and lead poisoning.

User: Sadie To: link