TIPS FOR PARENTS
- 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" .
MIRANDA JOY'S STORY - WRITEN BY HER MOTHER AFTER LOSING HER
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.
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