Ryan Jolley died Oct. 16, five days after he was born, from severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. His brain didn't receive enough oxygen and he showed no brain activity.
Ryan's mother, Ashlee, said she visited her son's grave every day and brought her 3-year-old son, Tucker, along with her. She had the sandbox built so her elder son would associate positive feelings with his younger brother's grim fate.
“I wanted him to have a happy memory with his brother and not the memory of his mama crying for days,” Hammac told Today. “Since we’ve had that out there, he’ll actually ask sometimes to go and play with baby Ryan… He calls that baby Ryan’s house.”
“He has a sandbox at home and absolutely loves it,” Hammac added. “I think it helps him because he doesn’t get so upset talking about him when he can go out there.”