“I will never forget the day that changed my life and how The Children’s Center helped me and my daughter, Kiera, recover. I had returned home from taking my mom to work. I carried Kiera into my house in her car seat and checked to see if the door was locked. Then next thing I knew, I saw a flash of light and then darkness. I came to with my father standing over me with a seven-pound plumber’s pipe.

I asked what he wanted. He said, “Cash.” Trying to focus, I saw my baby’s car seat flipped over with her body hanging upside down. He wouldn’t let me go to her — not until I retrieved the only money I had, which was in Kiera’s piggy bank.

After getting him the bank, I rushed to Kiera. Shaking with fear on the inside, but keeping a calm composure on the outside, I was able to convince my father to let me go to the emergency room.

At the hospital, I learned my injuries included four bones broken around the eye, one bone piercing through my upper nose, some vision lost, and permanent brain damage.

My father received 25 years and was charged with attempted murder, breaking and entering, burglary and several other charges.

The affects on Kiera and me continued long after the incident. I noticed verbal issues in Kiera around her second birthday. Her motor skills were fine, but she wasn’t talking.

Knowing she needed help, I found The Children’s Center. I remember that moment of hope, when I thought, “This place can really help my daughter.”

Kiera is enrolled in the Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Program. She spends 30 hours a week in a pre-school setting that includes one-on-one and group services.

It has changed our lives.

This frustrated little girl who spoke only a handful of words now won’t stop talking. She loves saying, ‘Hi’ to anyone she sees and voices all she wants, including her love for candy.

Was Kiera’s speech delay a result of that early trauma? I’ll never know. What I do know is that The Children’s Center is a place of hope and healing. It has given Kiera her voice and I will be forever grateful.”

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