MADISON, Wis. -- Liliana Mead is a 14-month-old child striving to overcome injuries that she suffered as a victim of shaken baby syndrome.
Health officials said that it's estimated one in five victims of shaken baby syndrome will die, but four out of five survive -- many with life-long disabilities.
The toddler is being cared for fulltime by her grandparents and legal guardians, Randy and Sherrie Mead, of Rockford. They said that they hope what happened to her won't happen to another child.
Liliana amazed doctors a year ago by surviving the abusive head trauma inflicted by her mother.
Randy and Sherrie Mead allowed WISC-TV into what is normally a very confidential world in the hopes of educating people that just seconds of infant trauma can last a lifetime.
It's estimated that as many as 1,400 cases of shaken baby syndrome are reported in the U.S. every year. But only a tiny fraction of the babies who survive go on to live normal lives.
So what happens to the others? Liliana Mead is one such baby.
It has been a year since the then-4-pound infant was rushed to Madison with abusive head trauma, or shaken baby syndrome -- injuries that can linger long after they are inflicted.
Randy and Sherrie Mead said they are happy their granddaughter has come a long way, but they said they realize she still faces enormous challenges.
Liliana is on medication to control her seizures. She's legally blind, and has slow brain development, which are all effects of abusive head trauma inflicted by her mother.
"We're trying to do our best to make her as normal as we can but she's going to still have struggles her whole life. So, our thought is, if we can save one child from going through what she's gone through and what we've gone through, it's enough," Randy Mead said.
The Meads said they hope Liliana's story will help get the message out: that it's OK to walk away from a crying baby, if the baby is safe and secure, and collect yourself -- or better yet call someone.
To raise awareness, they're even launching a new Web site, MeadCharities.org, that will carry Liliana's and other survivor stories.
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