Monday, October 31, 2011
Introducing Angela Cook
Hey there! My name is Angela, cousin to the most fabulous little cousin, Michael. I have 3 amazing children with the love of my life, Jason. Together we have attended numerous candlelight vigils. I am also a full time student with the ambition to work in the health care field, the exact profession is not fully determined yet. I am happily awaiting to see what our future holds in the coming years. :)
I was never blessed to have met my cousin Michael in person, he was gone before my uncle (Jerry) married his mother (Tammi). Tammi and Jerry had one of the most beautiful weddings I had gone to. The floral arrangement was spectacular, there was a bouquet of roses and in the center was a sunflower. The roses signified all the loved ones we had lost, he sunflower was the symbolic gesture of remembering that we were missing someone very dear, Michael.
From that time on I would learn about Michael through his older sister, Nicole. Nicole and I would stay up late at the grandparents, and somehow us two would start talking about Michael, I knew she missed him each and every day that passed. The day must have played over and over in her head. Michael and Nicole's sister, Elizabeth was hospitalized with pneumonia, so Tammi had planned on a friend, whom also was a nurse, to watch over her other children while she stayed bedside with Elizabeth. The day Elizabeth was set to be discharged from the hospital is the day everyone's life changed. A nurse had found my Aunt Tammi, and said she was needed downstairs in the ER, puzzled as to why she went downstairs to hear and see the horror of what happened to her 6 month old baby. She would later learn that Michael suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome and was also thought he was slammed up against a wall or floor, his chances of survival was only 1%.
Baby Michael defied all odds and survived. He was left with severe handicaps, however he thrived on the love that surrounded him. At the tender age of 5, Michael's body left this earth. As a family we are positive that he remains around us, we all feel his love on a daily basis.
It is because of Michael that I hopped onto Myspace to raise awareness for all children of child abuse. It was then that I ran into the most horrific thing ever. There were many, many cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome. It was around 2007 that I had the pleasure to talk to Rachel, the mother of angel Madilyne Wentz. Rachel wanted to do something for all the victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Our first small step in raising awareness together was doing a small video montage of the many victims and survivors of SBS. From there the rest is history as our main goal is to provide comfort to the families, by us, the family. Sometimes it's best to be able to talk with someone who has walked in similar shoes.