GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The two children who were flown to the hospital with hypothermia after they were found near their deceased mother are now home.
It happened in Spencer Township. Police say the 27-year-old mom was suffering from postpartum depression and it appears she took her life on Christmas Day.
Sasha Hettich’s body and the children were found the next day.
Now for the first time her husband is talking exclusively with WOOD TV about his wife’s struggle.
“She was one of the most giving compassionate kind people I’ve ever known,” said her husband, Cody Hettich.
Their 5-month-old son, Gus, and 3-year-old daughter, Ember, were the light of Sasha’s life. But she was dealing with postpartum depression and it caused her to become overwhelmed and feel helpless.
“I noticed she had a really hard time taking care of our daughter, taking care of the house,” Cody said.
Some days were worse than others. Cody says Christmas day started as a good day.
“Had the kids open their presents and kind of had a Christmas morning,” he recalled.
He says Sasha got a Starbucks gift card so she took the kids to Starbucks. A few hours later they hadn’t’ come home. Cody called but no answer.
A few more hours went by and he called police. The next day Sasha was found in a field in Spencer Township with a gunshot wound. Her daughter was lying next to her and her son was in the running car.
“She was fighting it really hard and just ultimately couldn’t,” he said. “I don’t know if she couldn’t see the end of it or felt like she could ever get out of it this time around.”
The children spent three days in the hospital for hypothermia.
“The kids are both healthy,” Cody said. “They are coming to grips with the fact that mom is not around.”
He says Sasha was dealing with depression and anxiety before she got pregnant. After her first child was born she was diagnosed with postpartum depression and again after her son was born. She was in a support group, on medication and receiving counseling, but in the end it wasn’t enough to save her.
“I think it’s important that we do talk about this and mental health in general so that people can recognize there are resources out there and that this isn’t something that is their fault and that they can get help,” Cody said.
If you or someone you know are dealing with postpartum depression or you think you are there are resources. Caring for someone with PPD can be stressful, it’s important that family get help as well.