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Toddler, Shaken as Baby, Recovering but Medical Bills Mount

Adults must help children succeed in life since they can't advocate for themselves, said Lisa Wilson.

Wilson, 32, of Union knows firsthand how important it is to serve children in this way. Her daughter, Charlotte Wilson, needs advocacy and has received this and “a lot of love” from the Northern Kentucky community.

Charlotte, now 2, was violently shaken by her babysitter in February 2020 and is permanently disabled because of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Although she is showing great signs of recovery, she will require lifetime therapy and participate in special education classes when she starts school.  

“Charlotte is doing amazing,” Lisa said. But the road to recovery continues.

“About a month ago she had a seizure while sleeping at daycare,” Lisa said. “She has healed from that, however we are still so vigilant with watching her and keeping her head safe. A normal cold or fever could send her into a seizure. A slight bump on the head can cause her brain to bleed again. So we have to be super careful with her.”

Charlotte also has to take thyroid medication every day. The area of her brain that was damaged is the area that controls her hormones. She started to go into early puberty. 

“We have some side effects from the daily thyroid medication; however, the medication helps her grow and she is on the right track,” Lisa said. “She has a speech delay. Receptively she is so smart, however expressively she is stunted. She is learning more and more each day. She was able to regain full movement of the left side of her body and is able to outrun us all.”

As a result, Charlotte’s family has incurred a massive amount of medical bills. These bills will continue as Charlotte’s care continues. So, some friends have decided to host a fundraising event to help the Wilsons.

Love for Lottie will be held 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, at Florence Christian Church, 300 Main St., Florence. This is the first fundraising event for Charlotte and her family. In addition, the event will also support Newport Brighton Center’s Every Child Succeeds program. This program involves case workers visiting families with young children to provide education and assistance to develop coping strategies to avoid physical abuse. To attend, visit or purchase tickets for $20. Children under 12 are free. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information, visit Love for Lottie on Facebook.

The benefit features two local blues bands, a silent auction, door prizes, split-the-pot and food trucks.

Tammy Reams, an event organizer and friend to the Wilsons, said this is an important event because it supports a family in need and supports education about Shaken Baby Syndrome and how it can be avoided.

“Our support of Lisa’s family means that they can meet their financial obligations and get back on their feet financially,” Reams said. “For the Brighton Center, we are helping to raise awareness of this serious, although entirely preventable event. Through their program, Every Child Succeeds the Brighton Center case workers are saving children from this terrible event.

“If we don’t educate people about how to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome, we will continue to have increasing numbers of children with permanent disability and injury. We can prevent Shaken Baby syndrome 100 percent”.

According to Jessica Schierling with Brighton Center, Every Child Succeeds is a collaboration in Greater Cincinnati that was founded in 1999 with the mission to ensure an optimal start for children by promoting positive parenting and healthy child development prenatally, and for the first 3 years of life.  

“Every Child Succeeds is based on a strong scientific foundation demonstrating that a nurturing and stimulating environment in the first 1,000 days of life promotes optimal brain growth, cognitive development, psycho-social adjustment, emotional and behavioral health, and a significant, long term change in child and family trajectories,” Shierling said.

According to Shierling, Every Child Succeeds has completed more than 700,000 home visits since its creation.  This has allowed more than 25,000 in the greater Cincinnati area build a strong positive foundation for the next generation.  

“Brighton Center is one of the provider agencies that provides home visitation services to families to achieve these outcomes,” Shierling said. “Knowing that the needs of families and communities are often complex, we strive to provide wrap around services to the whole family by utilizing a two-generation approach, in which Every Child Succeeds is a key program.  We know, based off of our work nationally in this space, that offering services to parents and children not only reinforce impact, but can also accelerate it.”

Partnering with Love for Lottie, she said allows Brighton Center to raise funds to continue this “important work” in the community and provide information to families to help reduce the risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome. 

Charlotte’s mom Lisa Wilson said the seeing the organization of this benefit has left her overwhelmed with love.

“To know that so many people love us so much to do this for us means everything. Charlotte is an amazing little girl and I am so blessed to have so many people love her and love us.  Words cannot express how grateful we are for this,” she said. 

Although things have been challenging over the last year, Lisa said that still having Charlotte is what gets her through.

“She has survived the worst thing that could have happened,” Lisa said. “It could have been a lot worse, however she is beating the odds. We don’t know what her delays will look like the future. Time can only tell, but so far, her doctors are impressed with the healing that she has had. 

“Knowing too that I have the support of my friend and family and gotten through a lot. We have people in all corners of our life cheering her on.”

Written by Melissa Reinert, RCN contributor
Photo contributed