By Starrla Cray
MONTROSE, DELANO, WINSTED, MN Although his life on earth was far shorter than most, 2-month-old Breckon James Berent made a lasting impact on the people who knew him.
Baby Breckon loved to smile, loved his 3-year-old sister, Gabriella, and loved his parents, Dan and Tarra Berent of Montrose.
He was born June 4 with a cleft lip and cleft palette, but doctors thought that with a few surgeries, he would be able to lead a long, healthy life.
No one suspected that Aug. 11, the day after his first surgery, would be his last.
Breckon had been released from the hospital that morning, and Dan and Tarra were looking forward to spending time with him at home.
On the way to their house, Tarra said she continually checked on Breckon, and everything appeared fine.
However, a few minutes after pulling into their driveway, about 1:30 p.m., they noticed that Breckon had stopped breathing.
Dan, who is a volunteer on the Montrose Fire Department, started CPR while Tarra called 911.
“The ambulance came and they pronounced him dead at the house,” said Laura Frey, a close friend of the family.
According to Frey, the autopsy showed that Breckon was a victim of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and that the death was not in any way related to the surgery.
Earlier Aug. 11, Frey had been planning to take her own daughter and Gabriella to the circus in Howard Lake. However, plans changed when Tarra’s mother called with the tragic news.
“It was terrible,” Frey said.
Since then, Frey and many other friends and family members have been doing what they can to help the Berent family through this difficult time.
A Belgian waffle breakfast benefit to help with medical expenses incurred during the pregnancy is planned for Sunday, Aug. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Montrose Community Center.
Advance sale tickets are $7, and tickets at the door are $8. Children ages 5 and under are free.
Breakfast includes Belgian waffles with assorted toppings, sausage links, coffee, and milk.
During the breakfast, there will also be a silent auction, raffle, and bake sale.
Because of Breckon’s cleft lip and cleft palette, Tarra had to undergo several ultrasounds and doctor visits during her pregnancy. Organizers hope the benefit will help to alleviate some of those expenses.
“I want everyone to know that we are forever grateful for everything,” Tarra said.
Tarra, a graduate of Delano High School, provides daycare to local families. Dan, who grew up in Mound, works at Millerbernd Manufacturing in Winsted.
Both Tarra and Dan decided to get tattoos in memory of their son. In addition to Breckon’s tiny footprint, name, and date of birth, the tattoos also feature two little stars.
“After he [Breckon] passed away, our 3-year-old pointed to a star above our house and said, ‘there’s baby Breckon,’” Tarra said. “So now, he’s our shining star.”
To make a donation to the silent auction or bake sale, or for more information about the benefit, contact Frey at (612) 710-1022, Alli at (763) 226-9616, or Kim at (763) 447-5304.
For those who would like to make a donation but aren’t able to attend the breakfast, a Breckon Memorial Fund is set up at Citizens State Bank of Waverly/Montrose.
Donations can be dropped off or mailed to either 145 Nelson Blvd., Montrose, MN 55363 or 600 Pacific Ave. PO Box 68, Waverly, MN 55390.