Clayton Richard Ford (1934-1941) was my dad's identical twin. Born to Arthur Elisha Ford and Ethel (Wickliffe) Ford, he was the younger of the two twins. In an interview in 1985, my grandmother, Ethel Ford, stated that Clayton was born a "blue baby" and that he had always been sickly.
I never knew what she meant by the term "blue baby" until recently. I thought it meant that his lungs hadn't fully developed at the time of his birth, causing him to struggle to take in oxygen. I recently looked up the term and it usually means the baby has a heart malformation that prevents the baby's blood from being fully oxygenated. Now I understand more about this young boy's life and how he died..
Ethel stated that when Clayton was six years old, he got rheumatic fever and he never fully recovered. The death certificate lists endocarditis as the official cause, with rheumatic fever as a contributing factor. The Mayo Clinic website states that endocarditis is uncommon in people with healthy hearts and those who have damaged heart valves or other heart defects are at greatest risk.
Clayton Richard Ford died in his mother's arms and is laid to rest in West Memorial Cemetery in Quinlan, Hunt County, Texas in a plot next to his grandmother, Sara Elizabeth (Dodd) Ford.
May this little angel never be forgotten.