Monday, February 7, 2011

For Erin

Erin Whitmer is one of the strongest women I know.  I have admired her as mom, I have admired her strength, dignity and her blog.  She is the reason that I blog. 

Why do I blog?  Why do I write my feelings and tell Trevor's story on my blog for "the whole world" to read?  Because it is my blog and my words - words that I wrote from my pain, frustration and love.  They aren't a reporter's retelling of my life.  I blog to raise awareness and to educate.  If my blog helps to save another child then I am satisfied.  If my blog brings a family closer, then it is all worth it!  

This past week my friend Erin was blind sided by a reporter.  A reporter she allowed into her home and into her life.  This reporter misled my dear friend and published an article in the NY Times Magazine, which in my eyes defends child abusers. 

I met Erin last year.  I read her son's story in the Washington Post.  His story was so eerily similar to Trevor's.  Both Noah and Trevor were born on November 29, 2008.  Both were the first born and loved by their parents, families and friends.  Both had big, beautiful eyes and a smiles that could melt your heart.  Both boys had the potential to do great things.  However, both boys were shaken.  Abused by their daycare providers.  Both Noah and Trevor were innocent babies.  They were defenseless - unable to run away or scream out for help.  They both now rely on their mom's to tell their stories and seek justice. 

For months I have been so disgusted by people and their ignorance.  I have in a way envied them for their ignorance.  It is clear that these people who judge Erin and who have judged me have NO CLUE what it is like to have your child abused and even murdered by someone you trusted.  These people have no idea what it is like to bury your only child or to watch your once vibrant son suffer with multiple seizures a day.  Ignorance is indeed "bliss". 

The article in the New York Times tries to tell the story of the Shaken Baby Debate.   Is there such thing as SBS, or is there something else?   Here is what I know: 
1.  You have to have hard evidence before the abuser can be arrested and charged.   In our case, we waited 7 long weeks for an arrest.  The state police left no stone unturned before arresting and charging the right person.

2.  Doctor's who treated both Noah and Trevor are experts in their fields.  These are doctors that work with children.  They see child abuse more than most.  They know how to identify abuse and report their findings.  They aren't "paid" by someone to make up things or to throw any kind of "reasonable" doubt in.  They are paid to treat and advocate for their patients.

I will never forget the doctor telling us that Trevor had a 0% chance of recovery or that his injuries were worse then if he had fallen from a three story building.    I will also never forget hearing "worst case of Abusive Head Trauma/SBS she had ever seen". 

3.  Both Trevor and Noah were dropped of at daycare in perfect health, both left in an ambulance, both were hooked up to all kinds of machines, both had to fight for their lives.  Both Noah and Trevor had never been abused before.  Both had been living with their loving families and were never even yelled at let alone shaken by them. 

4.  The "triad" of SBS doesn't just happen.  It isn't from vaccines or from a vitamin K deficiency.  The doctors who have studied this for YEARS, testified it was abusive head trauma that caused these symptoms.  Both happened shortly before 911 was called.  Medical evidence proves that.

5.  And finally....medical evidence doesn't lie....but people do.

I am so outraged by Emily Bazelon and her article.  I am mad that she blind sided my friend and that she has now opened a can of worms with her stupid article.  Does SBS exist?  You better believe it does - Trevor and Noah are proof of that.  (as well as so many others I have met who have been shaken)

I have one final thought, one word for Emily Bazelon and her article, karma.

To read more about Noah and Erin please visit


  1. Education, information, and awareness are important. Personal experience, leadership, and commitment are courageous.

  2. Here is the response from the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and letters from a medical expert and judge refuting Bazelon's article.

    Thank you for continuing to educate people Kelly.

  3. I found out about Noah through a friend and have now since found your blog and have spent a good portion of the last two hours reading it. My heart breaks for you and your family. Lots of hugs headed your way from NC. Best - Melissa