Shaken baby syndrome is the leading cause of child abuse deaths in the U.S. A local 4-month-old baby is fighting for his life because of it.
A few months ago, 4-month-old Bryson Ford was a healthy, happy baby boy. Now, he’s in a hospital in St. Louis because he was severely shaken last month. His aunt, Katlin Gunning, said it’s been a nightmare.
“He had shook him so hard to cause seizures and brain bleeds, and it’s just heartbreaking,” Katlin said.
The person accused of shaking him is his father, Brandon Ford.
He appeared at the Saline County Courthouse Thursday wearing a jumpsuit.
Bryson’s step-grandma, Linda Gunning, said their world has been rocked.
“This is just one of those things that you think happens to other people’s families — not your own family. Your heart goes out to them, not thinking it was going to be something in your own family,” Linda said.
Now that they know the devastating impact shaken baby syndrome can have, they want to help save other babies. They are using T-shirts with the message “Bryson Strong” to raise awareness for SBS. Family members wore them to court Thursday.
“Babies are a gift from God. If there’s any point in your life that your around a baby and feel like you can’t do it anymore, just walk away. Lay the baby down. Walk away. Take a count. Call a family friend if you feel like you can’t do it anymore,” Linda said.
If Bryson’s story can save just one family from going through what they are going through, they said sharing their story will all be worth it.
Bryson’s mother, Kendrea, said his recovery is going well in St. Louis, but he has a long road ahead. She’s thankful for all the love and support she has received. If you are interested in buying a “Bryson Strong” T-shirt, the family is selling them to help with his medical expenses.
Brandon Ford will appear back in court on Sept. 20 for a final pretrial hearing. His trial is set for Oct. 2.