“I've been losing faith I guess since all this tragedy just happened to my family. It's crazy. Everything is so perfect one day and then just the next day it all falls apart.”

Brianna's Story

When Brianna was 17, she was in a car with some older friends when the police pulled them over and found marijuana. Everyone in the car was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance. She was a senior in high school at the time, getting ready for prom. She had a one year-old daughter, and soon after the arrest, she became pregnant with her second child. While she had attended the first court date with her mother, her pregnancy was progressing, so she missed her next court date, and she stopped coming to court.

When her son was three weeks old, he died in his sleep from complications with his breathing. That morning, when she called 911 about the baby, her name came up in the system that juvenile court had a warrant out for her arrest. The ambulance came, and the police came, and they arrested her and took her to an adult detention facility, because by this point she was 18 years old. Over the next few days, they kept her isolated and on suicide watch.

In addition to this trauma, a few months before her son died, when Brianna was graduating from high school, her 27 year-old sister died from complications in her pregnancy (and the baby died), leaving four daughters behind. Brianna is now 19 years old, and she lives with her mother, her daughter, her mother’s youngest son, and her four nieces. She says, “I talk to my mom because she knows how it feels to lose a child, so we connect on that level.”

Read full interview transcript.