On October 18, 2011 we found ourselves in the middle of every parent’s worst nightmare; our baby had been brutally abused, was being prepped for brain surgery and we hadn’t the slightest clue who, what, where, when or why... Just six weeks earlier we had begun entrusting our sister-in-law with the care of our precious young children; I was making the leap to returning to full time employment after the birth of our second baby and it was comforting to know our children would be with family while we worked each day. So when our five month old, Lola, came home acting out of the ordinary on September 6, 2011, the sixth day of being in her aunt’s care, child abuse wasn’t even a blip on our radar. Nor did it cross our minds as we spent six weeks desperately taking our baby back and forth to the walk-in clinic, pediatrician and local ER for her escalating unexplainable symptoms.
It wasn’t until the news of our daughter’s six rib fractures, retinal hemorrhages, complex skull fracture and chronic subdural hematoma (collection of blood between the surface of the brain and its outermost covering) that child abuse even made the list of things in the realm of possibility. In less than two months our baby girl had gone from easygoing, loving, chubby, happy, healthy to irritable, unable to eat, sleep or be comfortable. Lola should have been mastering the ability to sit at six months old, not stuck in a hospital bed with tubes draining fluid from her brain.
October 18, 2013 will mark the two year anniversary of the start of the criminal investigation into the violent assault against baby Lola. Our two daughters are now thriving and we are a million times grateful to have them alive and well, but they deserve justice too. Lola suffered a traumatic brain injury, something that will impact her for a lifetime. She faces learning disabilities, speech disabilities, increased risk for more seizures, behavior disorders and cognitive impairment. Her big sister is significantly traumatized, as is our family.
The woman that nearly murdered an innocent baby in the presence of three other small children remains free and with access to children in Waukesha County, WI. Both the West Allis and Waukesha PDs have investigated Lola’s life threatening abuse but charges have yet to be filed. In the fight against child abuse it is imperative to send the message to abusers that violence against children will not be tolerated, that they will not remain free simply because they targeted a voiceless victim. By not prosecuting the perpetrators of violence against children as aggressively as the perpetrators of violence against adults we are sending a clear message that child abuse is not a real priority.
We believe that Waukesha County cares about children and wants the community to rest assured that child abusers are not lurking in their neighborhood, in the homes they send their kids to play, in places they trust. The last thing we want is to see another child seriously injured (or worse) by someone we thought we could trust. Lola Bernicky deserves justice and the children of the community deserve to be safe from exposure to abuse.
Please join us in calling on Brad Schimel, Waukesha County District Attorney, to prosecute the woman responsible for nearly murdering five month old Lola Bernicky.
Watch Lola's Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81C95_EjTfA