British Columbia

'Losing him has completely shattered us' say parents of Vancouver toddler who died in daycare

Parents of Macallan Wayne Saini, the toddler who died on January 18 at a residence in East Vancouver, say they don't want their child's death to be in vain.

Parents of 'Baby Mac' call for a massive reform of B.C.'s daycare after he died on Jan. 18

Parents of Macallan Wayne Saini say he filled a room with joy and curiosity. (Shelly Sheppard)

Parents of Macallan Wayne Saini, the toddler who died on January 18 at a residence in East Vancouver, say they don't want their child's death to be in vain.

"We are so overwhelmed by Mac's death. Losing him has completely shattered us. He was the love of our lives. Our heart. Our joy. Our everything," said a statement written by parents Shelley Sheppard and Chris Saini. 

The couple said their son died while at a daycare, a day before turning 16 months old. 

"We want to make sure this never happens again," the statement read. 

The BC Coroners Service has not released the cause of death or confirmed that the child died in a daycare. It has only said the the toddler died in a residence that was not his family home.

Vancouver Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances.

"His eyes sparkled and smiled at everyone and everything," say parents of Macallan Wayne Saini, who died a day before turning 16 months. (Shelly Sheppard)

The parents said they won't comment on the details of their boy's death, but they said British Columbia's daycare system is in need of massive reform.  

"Like most parents in B.C., we found the choices impossibly limited when it came to day care spaces," said the parents.  

Major licensed childcare facilities in Vancouver already have 2,000 to 3,000 children on their wait list, according to Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre, a resource for early childcare educators and parents in the City of Vancouver.

The parents describe 'Baby Mac' as a happy boy that loved to laugh and play jokes on them.

"He had just learned how to climb on the couch and how to hide in a corner so that he could toddle out and pretend to scare people," they said.

"No other mother should ever have to see the love of her life lying dead on the floor. No father should have to load his son's casket into a crematorium furnace." 

Parents Shelley Sheppard and Chris Saini say they've been robbed of the chance to see him grow. "We will never be able to teach Mac to ride a bike, walk him to school, or see him fall in love. All the things parents dream of." (Shelley Sheppard)

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