Monday, September 17, 2012

In Colorado, Family works to spread message: Never shake a baby | Shaken Baby Syndrome

Jasmine looks at her mom and flashes a huge smile.
"That always makes me happy," said Jennifer Schutz. 
Schutz reportedly chooses to focus on what her two-year-old daughter can do rather than on her limitations. There are a lot, but there should not have been any.
"It would be so hard to always think of what should be," she said. "We have to look at the little progress that she is making or our hearts will break every day."
"It is amazing that she can do anything," Susan Burke, Jasmine's grandmother, said. "The doctors said she'd do nothing and be on a feeding tube."
Jasmine is reportedly a victim of shaken baby syndrome. A moment of terrible abuse took a perfectly healthy infant and erased so much potential for her life ahead.
"When she was injured, the doctors told us she probably would not survive the week," Schutz said. 
Jasmine's father, Rocky Lee Ankney, is in jail convicted of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. Prosecutors say he injured Jasmine when she was eight weeks old.
Schutz was at work as a geriatric nurse when it happened. 
Denver police reportedly say Ankney did not call 911, but he called his wife claiming he dropped the baby as he got her out of the bathtub.
Detectives and doctors reportedly say Jasmine's injuries could not have been caused by a simple fall. Her ribs were broken. Her brain was bruised and there was bleeding on both sides of her head. She lost her vision too.
"You wouldn't think your husband would do it," Schutz said. "He quit his job to stay home with her. Nothing about it makes any sense."
Shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of trauma death in children under two years old in Colorado. When Schutz started learning more about it, she made a promise to Jasmine to be part of the solution. In the last 2 years since the devastating injury, they have. They are now advocates against any kind of child abuse.
Jasmine can make some small noises and laugh. But, she cannot speak. Her mom and her grandma are her voice.
"It is so preventable that there is no reason it should even be an issue," Burke said. "And as big of an issue as it is, we want it to end." 
Burke says that is the family's mission now.

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If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at

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