Shaken Baby Syndrome is very real and quite tragic. Baby Christa captured the hearts of many as she battled the effects of being a shaken baby in May 2017. Sadly, Christa succumbed to her injuries after battling for three years. Prayers for Christa, a Facebook page, continues to share the family’s story, photos, and grief journey.
I want to tell you my story about how Shaken Baby Syndrome changes lives in the hope of encouraging you to not give up when you go through trials. I have been through several in my 24 years of life. From losing my dad at a young age to going through mental and physical abuse and becoming a special needs single mom, I know what heartbreak and pure exhaustion feel like. I know there will be at least one part of my story that you will relate to, and I pray that my story will inspire you to rise up from the ashes, and live a life of joy and abundance no matter your circumstances.
A Life Accustomed to Loss — Even Before Christa Was Born
I began going through trials at a young age. I can remember the first time I experienced a broken heart. I was in the second grade when my grandfather passed away. Then in 2007, I experienced what felt like my world coming to an end. [The year] 2007 was the year that my dad was in an ATV accident that took his life. I remember the night it happened. I was putting posters up on my wall as a preteen girl, when I heard banging on our front door. It was someone who came to tell us my dad had been in an accident. I will never forget standing outside of my house and watching the helicopter fly over which was carrying my dad.
We rushed to the hospital and the doctor allowed us to tell my dad we loved him, although he was unconscious. He had internal damage. I remember the room they took me and my mom to, asking us if we wanted them to donate his organs. He was in a coma for a week and passed away due to a stroke. I remember my mom walking my sister and [me] into that ICU room, holding us and telling us that our daddy was gone. I was a 13-year-old girl who at the time didn’t understand what was really happening to me. I cried many tears, but for a while, I stayed in denial. I remember getting excited about something that happened at school and thinking “I’m going to tell dad about this when I get home.”
It took a very long time for me to come to terms with him really being gone forever. Tears fill my eyes as I write this because this is not something I replay in my mind often. This occurred such a long time ago, but my heart still aches. I miss my dad, and sometimes I feel guilty that I can hardly remember what his voice sounded like or what his hugs felt like. Moving forward after a loved one passes away is torture. However, it does get easier. I still have moments when I think to myself, “I wish my dad was here to see this,” but I have faith that I will see him again someday.