CHARLESTON -- The story you're about to see had people choosing sides and pointing fingers. Investigators believed a daycare owner shook a twenty two month old baby in 2014, causing permanent brain damage.
In the next half hour we're looking at both sides. In an exclusive interview the accused daycare owner breaks her silence. We'll bring you up to speed on the toddler at the center of it all, and we'll hear from a juror who helped make the decision.
Two families forever changed by tragedy. This is 30 minutes.
Here is the full statement from Piersen's father:
February 14, 2014 still remains a nightmare for anyone that has ever met Piersen, regardless of timeline. The phone call just after lunch, on 02.14.14 remains crystal clear. Seeing my son, unresponsive and so close to death is an image that will never disappear. Accepting the reality of a decision made by everyday citizens is not something you get over, or even get comfortable announcing to people who ask - 'What happened to your son." How do you even disregard the conclusion of an expert medical community on how Piersen was injured? The injustice that my son lives with every single day is nearly inconceivable. However, with our decision to live life with GRACE & FAITH, we are moving towards a life surrounded with happiness, joy and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people we encounter. Piersen knows exactly what happened to him on that Friday afternoon, and he has been blessed to continue his life, which now has more purpose than most people will ever experience.As we approach the three year mark, I think it is crucial to continue to share Piersen's journey. The truest way to enjoy each day is to be absolutely 'present' as often as possible. Daydreaming about the past, asking questions about how quickly people can snap or simply wandering through negativity can drive a person or family insane. While the general public may assume the frames we use exhibit complete bliss, the real world remains medically fragile for Piersen. With proper training, and the right equipment available, Piersen has been able to battle his last few respiratory infections at home. When a four year old is not feeling well, some over the counter medications, liquids and rest normally due the trick. For Piersen, a cold requires oxygen support, increased breathing treatments, that include both antibiotic nebulizers, along with his routine vest treatments and 24 hour monitoring of oxygen and heartrate levels. An enormous THANK YOU to Velva, Caryn & Jana for their continued love and compassion for P, no matter what type of day he is having.Piersen continues to attend the Pre-K program at Lincoln Elementary in Monmouth. At the most recent IEP Meeting, it is clear that Piersen is enjoying the social aspect of going to school each day, while making some steps in all three areas of Therapy. Everyone is on board with making sure Piersen receives the attention he requires, while introducing new methods to help him communicate his feelings, and at times, his increased demands of getting what he wants. The most notable change is hearing Piersen express his voice with increased use of the Passy-Muir Valve, which allows noise to be generated. As the time increases each day with this valve, we are all hopeful that decannulation could be a possibility in the next several years. As the school year ends for Pre-K, there are a few options to consider for Kindergarten in late August. Once again, marching forward with all the options available.In regards to the medical diagnosis, the following conditions remain. Spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, Chronic post traumatic encephalopathy, Tracheostomy dependence and all feeding / medicine by G-tube. There remains 11 medications on Piersen's list, which we continue to evaluate and reduce as time and symptoms allow. The Baclofen Pump has been working great, and has provided much comfort. At times I feel like we are living in a bubble, but Piersen is making steps towards stability. There is no cure, but there is space for comfort and happiness. Sleeping has been more consistent, which is an added benefit for everyone.'It is not the movement of the clock that produces the newness of life, it is the movement in your mind.' We are all going through a change. We are all going through a process. Piersen is going through life right now without a voice. I hope I can fill the role as we discover more purpose. We are in this very moment right now for a reason. This experience has provided growth for many people. Change is inevitable. Regardless of preparation, life is going to bring so many unknowns. Piersen is incredibly strong, and I feed off that daily He reminds me to stay grounded, present and thankful. I hope he can do the same for many more people.