Grandmother knows the zigzag scar atop baby’s head will heal in time.
It follows the path where the bullet entered and exited. The drive-by shooting was probably intended for the man who held Brooklyn Murff that night in late September — her father.
Even thugs don’t usually shoot babies on purpose.
Now that the 11-month-old has been home from Children’s Mercy Hospital for a week, it’s not the physical injuries little “Cheerio” sustained that worry her family.
Brooklyn is back to her cheerful self, a gurgling baby so close to taking her first steps that she crawls half upright, legs straight, like a spider.
No, grandmother Arthurine Simmons knows the long-term threat is being part of a community, a family, overwhelmed by street violence.
“What we pray for daily is for someone to step up and do the right thing so that the street will not do the wrong thing,” Simmons said.
By that she means a confession rather than a retaliatory shooting to avenge the harm that came to Brooklyn. The Simmons family has suffered enough.
A stepson whom Simmons raised from the age of 7 was shot and killed in September 2010.
A daughter was murdered in February of the same year, shot in front of her three children as she ushered the oldest ones onto their school bus. Simmons thinks the gunman was a man who was obsessed with that daughter, Shukriyyah Simmons. He’s dead now, killed in yet another shooting.
Simmons is raising her daughter’s children. They all live together in her home, along with Brooklyn and Brooklyn’s mother, Farida Simmons, who is another of Simmons’ children.
This week the family is focusing on thanking Children’s Mercy Hospital — surgeons, nurses, the intensive care unit and rehabilitation experts.
“They took care of this baby as if she was their very own,” Simmons said.
The family is also planning a community celebration for Brooklyn’s first birthday in early November.
This little girl’s life sadly encapsulates how violence winds itself around some families, choking out a sense of peace. But Brooklyn’s a survivor, buoyed by loving relatives and talented medical staff.
The baby has asthma medication, and there are other precautions in case she develops seizures as a result of her injuries. But Brooklyn needs no pain medication and is developmentally on track for her age.
“She’s not on anything but love,” says her grandmother.Letter from Brooklyn Murff’s mother and grandmother to Children’s Mercy
Dear Sir or Madame:
I write this letter with immense gratitude for the outstanding and life-saving care your team of expert doctors and nurses provided for Brooklyn Murff.
I sincerely extend my heartfelt gratitude for the personal care you added to the critical care that Brooklyn needed to live and recover. You worked from your heart and you performed each medical task as though you were caring for your own child. You provided comfort to me and my family and you explained every procedure in detail which eliminated much of the anxiety that comes with the type of trauma Brooklyn endured.
I personally believe that healing comes from God and that He chose your staff of nurses and doctors to be His instruments. I was honored to have had your team in place to care for my daughter.
The Miracle of Brooklyn’s recovery will be talked about for years to come and your team will be immortalized in the story telling. I thank you, Brooklyn thanks you, and my entire family thanks you.
Farida Simmons and Arthurine Simmons, Brooklyn’s Mother and Grandmother