Thursday, 17 March 2011

SBS: Florida: John Coleman and Amanda Ashby-Hardin charged

By: Carolyn Scofield By: Carolyn Scofield
OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - Her steps are still unsteady, but Lilly Harden has made a lot of baby steps in the last 11 months.
Doctors and Okeechobee County Sheriff's deputies weren't sure she'd ever walk again.
"She was limp and lifeless and her eyes were rolling back in her head and she was bruised all over," says Deputy Sarah Green, describing the day she found Lilly.
Green was doing a welfare check on an Okeechobee home last April when she found Lilly in a bedroom.
Investigators believe the two-year-old had been left there to die.
Paramedics rushed her to St. Mary's Medical Center where doctors diagnosed Lilly with 'shaken baby syndrome.'
"She was blind when we brought her home, couldn't walk, couldn't sit up, couldn't hold her head up by herself," says her grandmother, Linda Ashby.  "She went almost back to a newborn stage, had to re-learn everything from holding her head up to sitting up to crawling, walking."
The toddler is now making up for lost time.  Lilly completely regained her sight and she's taking more steps every day.
She still stumbles often, but she always gets up and tried again.
"To see her come this far when I wasn't even sure she would live to begin with and to see her acting like a normal 2-year old, going on 3, it's a blessing," says Green.
John Coleman, Lilly's mother's boyfriend at the time, is charged with 11 counts of child abuse and neglect.  He remains in the Okeechobee County Jail.
Lilly's mother, Amanda Ashby-Hardin, was also charged with child abuse.

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