Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Little Miss Evalee Diane
My husband deployed with the Air Force to Afghanistan October 1st of 2009. I was a full time Occupational Therapy student and due with our 3rd child in November. I gave birth to Evalee Diane on November 16, 2009. The base my husband was at was not adequate enough for internet so he stood by me during the birth on my cell phone and saw pictures of her for the first time a month later when the mail finally got to his base. We had her on the wait list to get into the military daycare and a week before I had to be back to school they let me know that they no longer had a spot for her. I had to find a different daycare for her temporarily until we could get her in on base where our 2 year old and 4 year old went to school. I found another military wife who lived 2 minutes from our house and had a daycare in her home. She seemed great, and had worked in the daycare business for a while. She even had a baby herself. Evalee was 2 months old when she started there. There were no indications or warning signs that this was not a good place for my child. Then exactly one month to the day after she started daycare in this woman's home I received a number of phone calls. Phone calls from her, her neighbor, and the police that I needed to get to the Emergency Room as soon as possible. That my baby, 3 months old, had been dropped down the stairs and stopped breathing. My world fell apart. I rushed to the hospital and I was not allowed to see my baby for what seemed like eternity. It was an hour or so. She had been taken for CAT scans and had to be intubated. The first time I saw her she was in a medically induced coma, on a ventilator, and had tubes everywhere. Also as soon as I arrived at the hospital I was greeted by a detective. I couldn't call my husband to tell him the horrible news because he was out fighting for our freedom. I was devastated. My worst fear had come true. How do you tell your husband that his daughter he hasn't even met yet is in a coma? It wasn't until the next day when the opthamologist came in and told us that it was shaken baby syndrome and that her brain injury was an intentional act that I just fell apart. I was also informed that Evalee had stopped breathing for a significant amount of time and the babysitter did not perform CPR. How could I have put my child in someone's care that would hurt her?! At this point the red cross was working diligently to expedite my husband back from war to see his daughter for the first time. During this time she had to be transported to Children's Hospital because she would not wake up from the coma. She started having seizures and had to be heavily medicated to stop them. The babysitter was finally arrested for felony child abuse and first degree assault 2 days later. She still denies shaking her and is sticking to her story of falling down the stairs while holding her. My husband finally arrived 4 days after she was shaken. He had no idea what had happened and I had to pick him up from the airport and break the news to him that she had been shaken and was in the PICU with a traumatic brain injury. That was horrible. So my husband went from living in the desert in a tent to living in a hospital for the next 6 weeks. After a couple weeks she was transferred to a Rehabilitation hospital for therapy and she finally started eating on her own and making progress toward recovery. It has now been 4 months since she was shaken and she is doing great. She still goes to therapy twice a week and we are so grateful to have her alive! We still have a long road ahead of us and not knowing the extent of her injuries. We also have a long legal battle ahead of us as well. Please keep this story in mind and NEVER EVER SHAKE A BABY!