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Macie's Story
Shaken at the age of 6 1/2 months
        
                                          Then                  Now
Macie's Story begins on Monday June 7th, 1999. She was 6 1/2 months old. I went to pick my daughter up from daycare, and I was told that all she did all day was cry, and she refused to eat. This was not normal for Macie. She was a very happy, easy going baby. I brought her over to my mother's house, I am a single mom and at the time I was only 19. I was young and scared, not knowing why my child was acting weird. She sucked down 2 full 8 oz. bottles within a 4 hour period, showing me that she was starving. I took her into the doctor the next morning, Tuesday June 8th. She was sent home with a clean bill of health, So I brought her back to daycare and went to work. I was called at work at 4:30 that afternoon by the daycare lady's husband. All he said on the phone was,"the ambulance is on the way" then he hung up. I ran out of work, not knowing what had happened to my baby. When I got to the daycare the street was filled with police cars, fire trucks and the ambulance. Macie was already inside the ambulance, and I was told I could not see her. The daycare lady drove me to the hospital. She told me Macie had aspirated. Which means she threw up and swallowed it into her lungs. She said she was scared and that she loved Macie very much. When we got to the hospital the first thing I heard was my little girl's screams. I had never heard her scream that loud ever before. I walked back and saw her laying limp on the hospital table. Her eyes were rolled to the back of her head. They did a chest x-ray which showed that her lungs were clear, proving she had not aspirated. They also did a CT scan which came back normal. The daycare lady left after that. Macie was admitted into the hospital, and was given an MRI and spinal taps. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong. The second day she was there we noticed she was having seizers. A lot of them. Some lasted for 3 hours at a time. She could not hold her head up or swallow, and she could not move. It seemed as though she had had a stroke.

By the third day doctors were trying to tell me Macie had a seizer disorder. I didn't not believe this since she had been very healthy her whole life. My sister came to see Macie and just happened to mention Shaken Baby Syndrome. She had heard about it on the radio on her way to the hospital. The doctors didn't want to even test for it, but we begged and finally got our way. They looked behind her eyes with a magnifier, and found hemorrhages behind both eyes. They then did a second CT scan which showed bleeding and swelling of her brain, along with a skull fracture. This is when they told us that yes indeed Macie had Shaken Baby Syndrome. I went into shock. I racked my brain trying to figure out who could have done this to my little girl.

The police came in and everyone who had been around Macie in the 3 weeks prior to her injuries were investigated. They talked to the daycare lady who came up with 4 different stories. Finally after a week she admitted that Macie was crying and she "snapped". She said she violently shook Macie until she went limp. Then she got scared and ran down to the basement and dropped Macie on her head on the cement floor to try and cover up the shaking.

Macie was sent home from the hospital after about a month. She seemed like she was a newborn. She had to relearn everything she once knew how to do. She underwent eye surgery to removed the hemorrhages from behind her eyes. She was put on seizure meds until her 1st birthday, though she never had a seizure after she left the hospital.

The daycare lady was finally charge with Malicious Punishment of a Child after a long 10 months in court. She was sentenced to 48 months in prison of which she will only have to serve 32 months. She will get out next year.

Macie just turned 3 in November of 2001, and she is doing great compared to what doctors thought. She has had 2 more eye surgeries and now wears glasses. Thanks to many sessions of therapy she has regained all of her movement except her right ankle. She wears an orthopedic brace on that foot. She is only delayed by about 3 or 4 months. The only other issue she has, is that her skull stopped growing. It has only grown 1 cm since she was shaken, and neurologists say it will never grow and if it does at most only 2-3 cm more. She is a very happy child, and stronger then most people could ever be. This has been a learning experience for everyone involved , and will last us our lifetime. Macie was a lucky SBS. She survived. And I believe she saved other children's lives by sacrificing part of hers. This woman will never be allowed to hurt another child, thanks to my little hero.

Written by Macie's loving mother Amanda


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