“God, we want to ask that you have Your healing hand on baby Sammy tonight. Help him get better and give his mommy and daddy peace…” This was part of our evening prayer with our children tonight. My 5-year-old later asked what was wrong with Sammy and without going into great detail, we simply said “He is hurt, in the hospital, and needs our prayers.” The truth is, it is much more complicated than just being hurt.
Earlier last week, Trey Simpson dropped off his 10-month-old son, Sammy, at the babysitter’s house as he had done ever since Sammy was born. When Sammy’s mom, Liz arrived that afternoon to pick him up, Sammy was already in his car seat, strapped in, and waiting by the door to be picked up. However, Sammy wasn’t awake or responsive. Liz pulled him out of the carrier to try to wake him and had no success.
Liz immediately strapped him back in and rushed him to the nearest emergency room. The doctors ran a few tests on Sammy which showed that he had a stroke and seizure. They immediately had him transported to Memphis Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. MRI’s were performed which indicated that Sammy had a blood clot on the left side of his brain. He immediately had surgery where doctors had to remove a section of his skull to operate and relieve the blood that formed on the brain.
The next MRI taken post-surgery showed that there was never a stroke, no damage done, and emotions were high. However, the next CT scan a couple of days later did reveal that there was evidence of a stroke that might affect his speech. There was still hope in this recent result because, with therapy, he could possibly overcome this and that the right side of the brain would be able to compensate for his left side’s weaknesses. The neurosurgeon later said that his speech would not be affected as much, but the primary concern would be his right side of his body. He will not be 100% as far as walking and using that side of his body. There will most likely be some kind of impairment and physical therapy will be required. Saturday brought on another MRI which revealed that his entire left side of his brain is stroked out (what the original MRI showed). Based on this diagnosis, he would have little to no vision and little to no use of his right side of his body.
What I’m not telling you about baby Sammy’s condition is the cause. During the surgery, the surgeons found more blood that was at least two weeks old, in addition to the blood clot that prompted the strokes that began last week’s events. Based on the diagnosis, Sammy had experienced Shaken Baby Syndrome.
When Sammy was brought into LeBonheur, it was apparent that the nurses and staff were slightly cold toward Liz and Trey. They have every right to be; LeBonheur sees at least one shaken baby syndrome case a week. After getting to know Trey and Liz, they quickly realized that this did not happen on their watch. When Sammy was dropped off that morning, they dropped off a totally perfect 10-month-old baby boy. The baby sitter said he may have fallen in his crib and hit his head. The truth is the CT scans showed severe trauma to the brain. Liz’s father said it was equivalent to falling off of a two story building. It was apparent, based on the CT scans, that an incident happened two weeks prior that caused the old blood and then again that very day. The baby sitter is now obviously on the defense. The police, as well as DHS are currently investigating this case.
First and foremost, Trey and Liz know God and His unconditional love, sacrifice, and compassion. They also know that God is in control. On the flip side, their emotions are intense, as they should be. Their faith is constraining the anger that is inside, and they are in constant prayer for peace, direction, and resolution….not to mention justice. Liz told me “I don’t know how to feel. I’m so mad that someone took abilities away from my child. Someone that I trusted to watch him. I don’t know how to recover from that. But I do know that God can still work his miracle. His mercies are new every day. Great is thy faithfulness. That Has been my motto through all this”.
Today, Sunday, has been a good day for Sammy. The nurses were able to remove the feeding tube and for the first time, Liz was able to bottle feed Sammy. In addition, Sammy was able to open his eyes. Liz said seeing his beautiful eyes open was the most precious sight she had ever seen. On top of all of today’s good news, Liz was able to hold her baby boy for the first time. Sammy was speaking “Momma” over and over again.
The road ahead is uncertain, but today’s signs show progress. Pray for this family. Pray that Sammy’s condition continues to improve. Pray that he gains 100% of all his body and comes out of this better than before he went in. Pray for peace for Trey, Liz, and family as they travel this road. Pray for peace and God’s Will as the investigations continue and that justice be served. Pray that all of this family’s needs, financial, basic necessities, and emotional needs are met. Liz’s employer will allow her to take FMLA, but she will not receive pay.
A fund has been established where you can make donations locally or mail checks to be deposited into the fund. If you live in the Memphis area or North Mississippi area you can go into any Trustmark Bank and make a donation. The account will be set up under Trey and Elizabeth Simpson and checks will need to be made payable to Trey or Elizabeth Simpson. If you wanted to mail a check for donation you can send it to,
Attn: Steve Childress
6165 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38119