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Note From a Loving Mama – Shaken Baby Syndrome

Our son Beckett, who is now five years old, is a Shaken Baby Survivor. Beckett was born full-term as a very healthy, vibrant infant. Sadly, at the young age of six weeks, Beckett was violently shaken by a parent figure. After being shaken, Beckett was put to bed and did not receive medical care for 24 to 48. Upon entering the emergency room, doctors and nurses immediately knew something was not right as this tiny body was having convulsions and uncontrollable seizures, and they feared for his life. It wasn’t long before it was determined that Beckett was a victim of SBS (shaken baby syndrome) and had life-threatening trauma. He was released from the PICU after two weeks of hospitalization. 

Our family (then a foster-care family, now his legal parents) was notified that this medically fragile child was being released from the hospital and would be needing care until his future was determined. After attempts to re-integrate Beckett to a biological family, it was determined that he would become a ward of the state and be placed for adoption. Criminal charges would be placed on the perpetrator. We never once hesitated and knew immediately he would forever be our son. 

Beckett has brought us much joy and happiness. Our days are filled with hours of endless care for Beckett that will continue for his entire life. We prepare G-tube feeds, disburse medication, change diapers and bathe him, along with an exuberant amount of doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions. We have our days when all we want to do is scream from the mountain tops that the life Beckett lives could have been prevented. This act of violence has left him with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, no ability to orally eat or drink, mental and physical delays, blindness and hearing loss. 

If only his caregivers would have realized what Beckett’s life would be if they had simply put him down in a safe spot and walked away. If they had asked for help. If they had taken into consideration the strength of their emotions versus the innocent body of a six week old baby. Our society must understand that violently shaking a baby can cause a lifetime sentence of medical complications or death to baby, not to mention suffering legal consequences to the perpetrator. Please stop, put an infant down in a safe area and walk away! 

Christy Rector


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