Excelling Mama Despite Past Trauma

17 Oct

A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

A few years back, I was working as a CNA at LifeCare Center of Cheyenne. I usually worked my hall with a handful of girls and befriended a few of them. I had seen it all as a CNA, blood, gore, open wounds, just to name a few. But, nothing could have prepared me for the end of my 10 o’clock shift.

My co-worker, Katie, was hysterically crying on the phone, saying “She stopped breathing? What exactly happened?!” Obviously panicked, Katie immediately left work. I didn’t know much of what was going on until the next day. Katie’s then boyfriend had severely shaken, hit, and bit their 9 week old daughter, Shannon. Some of you may remember this story being reported on Channel5 News and ran by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

My heart broke for Katie. She was one of the sweetest girls I knew at work, always lending a helping hand and taking extra time to care for our residents. So the fact something so horrible could happen to such a gentle soul, blew my mind.

Moving Forward

Katie Tschimperle, 24 and her Daughter Shannon, 3

Katie Tschimperle, 24 and her Daughter Shannon, 3

Today, Katie is currently studies at Laramie County Community College and is enrolled in 4 credit hours majoring in pre-nursing. Shannon is now a thriving, striving, happy, normal three year old. Since the incident occurred, Katie has since gotten married (not to Shannon’s father) and is pregnant with baby number two. How exciting right? Katie spends as much time as she can with Shannon, balancing school and motherhood. They both have come a long way in life despite their terrifying experience. Sure enough, Katie is on the fast track to a great career and starting anew with her current little happy family.


Although we don’t hear about child abuse a lot in this town, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. According to Preventing Child Abuse Wyoming, in 2009, 5.5 out of every 1,000 children had been abused in some way.  Out of the 727 reported cases of child abuse, 146 children had become disabled in some way resulting from abuse. These are some scary statistics, my heart breaks for every single one these victims.

So what should you do if you suspect a child of being abused? Any suspicion should be reported immediately to the authorities. Prevent Child Abuse Wyoming gives a list of signs to recognize abuse, ranging from emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Other agencies in Wyoming handling child abuse include, Child Advocacy Centers of Wyoming and of course, DFS. A child dies every ten seconds in the United States as a result of neglect/abuse. If you suspect something speak up. These children are the future of this nation and in this case, silence is definitely not golden. If the children can’t speak for themselves, will you?


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