As a Sergeant in the United States Army station at Fort Bragg, NC and a single mother, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Kimar on August 20, 2007 at 33 weeks weighting 4lbs 4oz and 18in long, she was a healthy premature baby girl and stay three weeks in the NICU. Kimar meet all the development milestone by age one for be a premature baby. October was going great, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant on October 1, 2008 and reenlisted on October 22, 2008 for 6 years more years in the Army but things change October 29, 2008 when Kimar became a victim of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) also know as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) by babysitter Rochelle Epps Davis. Rochelle was a stay at home mother of five children that I met at the church we attended together and a U.S. Army veteran as well. Early that morning that babysitter called about getting pay because she was moving and I told her the next day because she understand the military pay system. Its was around lunch time or little after because since I work and eat in the office when the babysitter called me and said my daughter keep crying and she does not know what was wrong. When I to the babysitter house I saw my daughter eyes rolling to the back of her head and her body was balling up, the babysitter could have call 911 for help because she is a mother but she did not for some reason. I took my daughter the Army Hospital, and they conducted all the test and CT scan, the social worker came told me what is going on before the doctor. I started to worried because they might think that I had hurt my child and I was afraid of losing her. She was transfer to another hospital that would treat her for the injuries and then the investigation started. I was investigated by the military and also by the State of NC which I was cleared from any wrong doing. My daughter is the reason why I am alive and keep pushing on to make the best of everything. Kimar was diagnose with shaken baby syndrome and the doctor gave her 72 hours to live because of the injuries. I am so blessed t that my girl survived but the injury cause life long health problems such as learning disabilities, seizure disorder, cortical visual impairment (CVI), physical, disabilities, speech disabilities, cerebral palsy, and cognitive impairment and on medication for some of the condition. Most children whom suffer the same injury will have the same disabilities with behavior disorder and other had died from the injury.
The Army move me to Fort Meade, MD and my family was my strongest support and help to us. A few years later 2011, I was relocated to Fort Lewis, WA and its was hard and stressful to my job in the military as a single parent and take care of my daughter medical needs because of lack of support to help with my daughter because I could not trust anyone to care for my daughter unless it was family. My Chain of Command could not understand the trauma and the level of my depression had me ready to give up on life. I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other medical condition that affect my duty in the military. It was really hard trying to handle two high demand job, fulfilling my military and taking care of my disable daughter. In July 2013, I was medically separated from the Army with Honorable Discharge. The babysitter was charges with no jail time and a slap on the wrist because she pleading guilty. There was no justice for Kimar and State Attorney that was handling the case could have done more to make sure justice was served for the life long health problem.
Kimar receive all of her treatment from Kennedy Krieger Institute and John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. I went back to school because it’s easier to deal with medical appointment between the two of us that working. In late 2015 I was about give on life but joining a non-profit organization called Athletes Serving Athletes change my life because I meet other parents with children whom have different types of disabilities. I decided to seek help to allow me to tell my story and reaching out the Doctor that overseas Kimar case from Fort Bragg, NC to tell my story to bring awareness for future case and help other parents. On April 5, 2017 I spoke at Fort Bragg National Child Abuse Prevention Summit with the focus on Abusive Head Trauma and Betrayal: No More Insult to Injury with Dr. Sharon W. Cooper, MD FAAP, CEO of Developmental and Forensic Pediatric, PA. I was able to talk to organizations from both Fort Bragg and Fayetteville communities about the injuries and the process and what could have done better for a different outcome. I also spoke the following week at my Church on April 11, 2017 about what happen to my daughter because many believe that she was born with the disabilities. It gave me to courage to continue to tell our story with the different situation that we face in like whether if it a small or large group or talking one on one with a parent that life just don’t stop with having a child with disabilities but to help them to enjoy life to the best of they abilities. My daughter participates in lot of races from 5k to half marathon in Maryland with Athletes Serving Athletes and she also a Cheerleader with the Maryland Twister Storm Chaser Special Needs Team. We do most of the activities that other kids do who does not have disabilities but alternate it her abilities. Kimar is a social butterfly and love to hold conversation with anyone. People that we have meet or encounter with ask if I had a web page or blog page to follow Kimar and I am in the process to start to share her life story.