JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After Ashley Hammac's 5-day-old son, Ryan Michael Jolly, died last October, she wanted his big brother to be able to continue playing with him so she added a sandbox to the newborn's grave site.
Now, Tucker can keep his promise to share his trucks with the little brother he was so excited to welcome to their family.
"Just so that Tucker could have a place to come out and still play with his brother," Hammac said of Ryan's embellished grave site at the Falling Creek Cemetery just outside Lake City. " 'Cause he was excited the whole time I was pregnant, about getting to be able to play with his brother and said he was going to share his trucks with him. So when this happened, we wanted a spot where he could be included, too."
"I am your big brother, me," Tucker said as he leaned his head against his brother's grave.
Hammac said Tucker likes the graveside addition so much that he sometimes asks to go without his mom asking him.
"It is like another park for him," Hammac said.
Ryan died from Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephlepathy, known as HIE, a result of not enough oxygen getting to the brain. Hammac shared photos of Tucker at the grave site on Facebook and it was shared more than 220,000 times. People magazine published a story in their latest edition.
"I wasn't even expecting to share it with the world, like I said I shared it with my family," Hammac said. "And then it blew up, I was amazed. But I am happy that it did because now I can get the word out to our charity which is Pages to Memories,"
Hammac said she hopes her story about the unique grave site will help her raise money for HIE research. She also hopes to donate books to University of Florida Health hospital in Gainesville to support other parents who might have to endure the loss of a child.