What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Each year in the United States alone, medical treatment is sought for an estimated 1,400-1,600 babies who have been shaken. Don’t let your child become just another statistic! Tell everyone who cares for your child “Never shake a baby!”

Saturday, May 29, 2010

We need YOU for 2011! Want to attend the vigil? Here is how!

There have been many questions submitted regarding this next years 2011 5th Annual Shaken Baby Syndrome Candlelight Vigil which we hope will take place at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida April 2011. In order for this to happen, we have a year to plan the event, and a year to raise the much needed funds to make this happen.

Here are some of the questions that have been submitted answered:

1. The goal is to raise $15,000 dollars, what does it go for exactly?

The goal is set to raise enough funds to provide travel assistance to 100+ families. This travel expense will assist also with the $50 per person needed to enter the facilities at Universal Studios. This is simply the cost to host the event at this location, and provide families a chance of a lifetime to enjoy a day in the parks with those whom know their pain and circumstances. This will enable a chance for the families to gather in one place, and enjoy time together in one of the funnest places in the world. Creating smiles on the faces of those where destruction has taken over is our #1 goal.

2. I want to attend but will need assistance. How do I sign up for assistance?

There is a continuing revolving list that remains each and every year. We will put you in a slot on our list, and as funding becomes available you are offered assistance and the chance to arrange to come, and should you need to decline the next person in line will be offered such assistance. With that said, we have an entire year. Currently we as a network are doing everything in our power to ensure your attendance, however, you have an entire year to save towards your trip, and host fundraisers of your own. We ask that you do everything in your ability to raise the funds before asking for assistance. With our limited amount of funds each year, if you have received funding in previous years we will place your name on our standby list.

3. What can I do to help?

We are currently seeking family members to join our support team to broaden the spectrum of stories and circumstances to support all the new families joining our support network each and everyday. We are also seeking bloggers, and many other positions are coming available, and are volunteer, at your discretion.

4. I can not get the links to work to donate or purchase merchandise!

At anytime, if you are having an issue with any links to donate or purchase, please email Rachel at rachel@sbssupportnetwork.com, or send payment via paypal to suesbuffalo@yahoo.com

5. What is provided if I am funded for the vigil?

Currently as the past years, we provide (1) round trip plane ticket, a place to stay, and food. This is all courteous of Rachel and family, and local organizations including churches. Transportation will be provided for you for the duration of your stay.

These are just a few of the numerous questions we are receiving on a daily basis. You can always contact our team via the emails below, or call our organization hotline at 5012462917. Without you, this event can not take place! Lets make this next year, our 5th year the biggest yet! Pass along the information to everyone you know. If you would like information regarding our organization, and a request support letter to forward along, please use the contact us page on our website at http://www.shakenbabysupport.com or http://www.sbssupportnetwork.com

*Update on 501 (c) 3* The process is long as most know. We will be creating a fundraiser very shortly to raise the $750.00 needed to submit our paperwork to the IRS, however we have obtained our articles of incorporation which is a big step for us!

Thank you!

Contact Our Team:


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The legacy of Kassica Ashley Mary Harp

Kassica Ashley Mary Harp July 1, 1998 ~ April 21, 2000

I was born Kassica Ashley Mary Harp on July 1, 1998. I had a wonderful, loving family who was very happy to have me in their lives. I loved my Mommy, Daddy, Ahma, my big brothers Kyle and Ethan, and big sister Sammi. I had a lot of other loving family members who took care of me and loved me with all their heart and soul too. I grew from a healthy baby girl into a little princess that was as prissy as a tom-girl could be. I ruled the roost and even though I was a lot younger then my big brothers, I sure bossed them around! LOL!! They loved me so much they let me get away with a lot of that. I loved it when they would play with me and do lots of fun things to make me happy. Mommy, Daddy and Ahma gave me lots of hugs and kisses and spoiled me rotten! Mommy called me Pumpkin and was I everything she had dreamed she'd want in a little girl. Daddy was completely wrapped around my finger and I loved to play with him. Ahma played with me and made me feel very special. Mommy would sing to me and we'd dance around the house, being so very silly with my brothers and we'd laugh and laugh and laugh!

Mommy and Daddy knew this person that they had known for a very long time and trusted very much. This person was someone who was very involved in our family life. Daddy would play sports with him and Mommy would laugh at his funny jokes. This person was someone they both would have never believed that he could hurt anyone, much less me.

But he did.

He did something to me that should never happen to a child. Mommy, Daddy and Ahma will never know what all happened to me but I hurt really, really bad. He had shaken me really, really hard and I hit my head on something that gave me a very big skull fracture.

Mommy, Daddy and Ahma watched me get weaker and weaker in the hospital. I never could wake up to tell them I loved them. I knew Mommy was there and in the beginning could move my hands, arms and legs. When they would touch me and then stop, I would let them know I still wanted them to touch me, to show me they were there. But after awhile I got too tired and I couldn't show them anymore that I wanted their touch and their love.

Mommy, Daddy and Ahma prayed and prayed that I would get better and be able to come home but God told me that I had a very special job to do in heaven. He told me that He would make sure that they knew He loved them even though they were broken hearted. God sent a beautiful angel to take me to heaven.

In heaven I didn't hurt anymore. I wasn't afraid anymore.

I miss my Family but I watch over them and let them know I love them when they miss me, which is a lot. I know that I will get to see them soon. I have a little brother named Wyatt now and I watch over him too. I can't wait until my family gets here so I can show them around and take them to meet God.

I know what my special job is that God wanted me to do. God wants me to help stop other children from being hurt. By letting people know what happened to me maybe I can help stop other children from being hurt or having their life taken away from them too.

I was only 22 months old when I was taken away to heaven.

I didn't get to learn how to swim.

I didn't get to have slumber parties.

I didn't get to go to school and make friends, go to dances, get my first kiss by a boy I liked.

I didn't get to meet my special someone and have my fairytale wedding.

I didn't get to know what it was like to be a Mommy, holding my babies and watching them grow.

Please, please! Help stop these horrible actions against children.

Please help stop child abuse. Please.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

~Miranda Joy~

- If you find yourself at your breaking point with a screaming baby, put the child in a crib and walk away. "No baby has ever cried themselves to death." The parents needs to take a breath. The child will be okay."

- If your efforts at calming a child prove unsuccessful, do not be embarrassed to ask for help. "Pick up the phone call someone Walk down the block and get a friend involved."

- Be certain to have someone trustworthy watch your child if you can "Make sure they are responsible and can handle a child and informed about what to do if a child is crying" .


My family tragedy began on October 2nd it was my husband's birthday and I worked all day. My husband and my two daughters walked to my work to walk me home. It was suppose to be a normal day; we were going out to dinner that evening to celebrate my husband's birthday. As we walked home, we were talking; my 17 month old daughter (Emily) was happy as could be, and it looked as if my 4 month daughter (Miranda) was sleeping. For some reason, I felt the need to pick up my 4 month old.

As soon as I did I knew something was terribly wrong. Her body was limp, she was unresponsive, and her breathing was shallow. Of course, like any other mother, I was quite frightened and got home with her as quickly as possible. Fortunately for me, my own mother only lives two houses away. Still not being able to get any response, I whisked her over to my mom's house along with the rest of my family. My mom took one look at her we knew we had to call 911.

So I called 911, and within minutes they were there. They took Miranda in the ambulance to the hospital and I went along, still having no clue what could be wrong with her. When I left her at 7:15 that morning, she was sitting in her swing cooing and happy. We arrived at the hospital and they worked on Miranda. All the time, I was standing there with my husband, crying and trying to understand what could possibly be wrong with my beautiful baby girl. I kept asking my husband if anything happened; was she okay all day? He said she was fine that day and that nothing had happened. I was trying desperately to help the medical field with any questions they may have had to help them discover what was wrong with my once healthy baby girl.

Approximately one hour later, they decided they were going to fly her to Hershey Medical Center. My husband and I raced to meet them there, along with the rest of my family. Hours later, when the doctors came in to talk with the family, I was told my baby was bleeding from the brain. Well I was in disbelief; I was told her chances of pulling through this were very slim. The doctors left for a period of time, and I was waiting to be able to see Miranda. Some time later the doctor's came back to talk with my husband and I. They told us that this looked like a case of Shaken Baby Syndrome. I was in shock, because the only people who ever cared for our children were family members, including ourselves.

I spent the next several hours with Miranda, trying to find some other reason for her injury. The next day, a social worker and police came to talk to me and my husband. They questioned me and my husband together, then talked to each of us separately. Four hours later, my husband confessed to shaking our baby girl.

From that point on, my life took a whole new turn. I spent everyday and almost every hour by Miranda's side, praying for God to work a miracle. On Tuesday, October 5 th, we met with the doctors and were told our daughter's injuries were so severe that she would definitely die. I was told that the part of Miranda's brain that was destroyed controlled her thinking, sense of touch, eyesight, & hearing; everything that would make her quality of life whole was flushed away. And of course, with the brain dying there is no such thing as a replacement. So I was told that we had two choices; we could let her the way she was not knowing how long she would live, breathing only by machines and in a coma state; or we could take her off life support and give her to God. They said she would not make it more than 48 hours off life support, probably less.

So on Wednesday, October 6 th, I made the decision that the best thing for my once healthy, beautiful, baby girl was to take her off the life support and give her to God. So on Wednesday evening, we took her off life support. I was able to hold my baby girl then, and had somewhat of a comfort; if that is possible when you know your child is going to die, and there is not a thing you can do to stop it but put it in God's hands.

Miranda, to everyone's disbelief, lasted off life support for almost 7 days. She died in my arms on Wednesday, October 13 th, 2004 at 8 am. So I am now faced with trying to cope with the loss of Miranda, and my family being ripped apart. My husband, of course, can no longer be with us; nor do I choose to have him with us. He is not allowed to have any physical contact with my other children, and is now living with his parents awaiting charges that will be brought against him pending a thorough investigation. So I am faced with taking care of my family on my own now. I returned to work on Friday, November 12 th, 2004 - one day before the one month mark of Mirandas death (much too early). I had to return to work to be able to support my other children. I have had no help whatsoever from his family, financial or otherwise. They have not even tried to call or drop a note to see how their other granddaughter is doing. I will never understand the judicial system. It is unbelievable to me that someone can confess to a crime as heinous as killing their own child, and walk free for 5 months before charges are brought against them.

My husband has since been arrested for the death of Miranda. He was arrested on March 2 nd, 2005 exactly 5 months from the day Miranda's life was snipped away from her.

I have had almost nine months before writing this part of the story. I have now, through God and the great support of my family, been able to go on with life the best I can. Yes, I have good days and bad days, but just months ago I thought I would never have even a half good day. I still miss Miranda so much everyday. My whole family has been torn inside in some way or another by this. It is as if they have lost a child too. After all, Miranda was a daughter, grandchild, a niece, a sister, and most of all she was a precious child who was not given a choice as to how her life was so suddenly shortened. The only peace I have is knowing that she is an angel now with God, and I know she knows how much her mother loves her and will never stop loving her or remembering her.

So now, almost 9 months later, with my brother's strong will to get this foundation off the ground, we are starting the Miranda Joy Foundation to enable us to help with and educate about domestic violence and Shaken Baby Syndrome; to keep Miranda's name alive and to bring some sort of sanity to what has happened in our lives.

I want to thank you for visiting our website, and if you choose to help support us in our efforts, I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. No family should have to go through the death of a child and especially the deliberate death of a child. May peace and prayers be with you.

Thank you,
Amy Raymond


She will tell you about our upcoming events
and all the special things she has to share with you

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day

Mommy’s Day
Last week, I attended one of the mandated trainings required to keep Riley’s Medicaid waiver active. I chose the “Stress Management for Parents of Children with Special Needs” workshop, for obvious reasons. I frequently blog about all of the hoops that I, as the parent of an SBS survivor, go through to get my daughter everything that she deserves to work on her recovery. Although I dreaded attending the workshop (it was just another thing I HAD to do and try to fit into my hectic schedule), I have to admit that I gained a lot from the experience, and find it appropriate to blog about it on this Mother’s Day weekend…
There was a mixture of parents at the workshop, mostly mothers (1 father) whose children had a wide range of disabilities. Some were common with Autistic children, or those on the spectrum. I, of course, was the only one with an SBS survivor. Our first act in the workshop was a roundtable introduction, where we talked about our family and the child that brought us to the workshop…I, inadvertently, was seated at the end of the circle. Parents told tales of their children, the dynamics of the household, and the stresses they face. Upon my turn, I described my family make-up, and then went on to tell only a portion of Riley’s story…that I had a perfectly healthy 2-year-old daughter who was violently shaken by her day care provider, and family friend, and that she was now left with a traumatic brain injury and multiple disabilities. Jaws dropped, sighs of shock, and looks of sadness and sympathy followed…
This is the common reaction I face when sharing Riley’s story. And being the person that I am, I often find myself comforting those who hear her story, telling them that it is OK, that Riley is still here with us, against the odds, and has made so much progress. I will quote all of the inspirational sayings, “Everything happens for a reason”, “God doesn’t give us more then we can handle”, etc. to make them feel better. I will note all of the “positives”…that she has made me a better person, that I no longer take things for granted, that I now feel like I have a true purpose in life. Truth is, it is not OK…none of this is OK. SBS is 100% preventable, and this never should have happened to my daughter, or to anyone else’s child!!! Am I happy that Riley is still here??? Absolutely!!! I cherish every single day with my little girl, and every single accomplishment…
To be honest, I have, very privately, been an emotional wreck lately. On the outside, I go about my day, doing what needs to be done with a smile on my face. But I’ve had many moments of sadness lately…maybe it is the time of year (reminders of the assault and trial), maybe it is not being able to attend the vigil, maybe it is the influx of SBS stories, maybe it is the fact that we are facing a change in Riley’s schooling for next year…I don’t know. Maybe I am finally letting myself have these feelings…I have spent so long staying busy as to avoid the hurt, anger, fear, guilt and frustration...and I have been dealing with everyone else’s feelings…maybe it is time to deal with my own…
My goal for this Mother’s Day is to, selfishly, take time for me. I will have no obligations. My only plans will include being with my husband and children, but no agendas. I urge all of the mothers reading this, especially those affected directly by SBS, to do the same. We do so much for our children, for our families, for the cause, for each other…a little “me” time is well deserved!!!
Much love to all of the beautiful Mothers out there, especially the SBS Angel and Survivor Mommies… I wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day!!!
- Lisa