"Miracle Child" honored at vigil

September 22, 2017 12:08 AM

HUDSON FALLS - One year ago tonight, Kaiden Starr Rice was on life support at Albany Medical Center, unable to walk, talk, or even eat, after being beaten mercilessly by her stepmother earlier in the day. 

On Thursday night, Kaiden was the guest of honor at a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the horrors and the epidemic that is child abuse.

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The most amazing thing about the vigil at Junkett Park in Hudson Falls Thursday night, at least in the mind of Tammie Waite, is that her 5-year old granddaughter is alive and able to take part in it.

"Living it every day and just thinking about that day last year, you think wow," Waite said, "How is this possible?"

On September 21, 2016, Kaiden, who was 4 at the time, was critically injured, with a fractured skull, brain swelling, and other fractures, after being mercilessly beaten by her stepmother Marissa Bickford-Rice, who is now serving prison time for that brutal attack.

"Today we're celebrating Kaiden and today we're celebrating all survivors," said Colleen Lyon, Kaiden's Godmother, also a child abuse survivor, "I personally am celebrating myself."

Lyon organized the vigil, hoping to raise the public's consciousness about a horrific, ongoing epidemic.

"We hope this serves as a deterrent," she states, "But let's face it, noothing seems to deter these people. They just keep hurting children over and over again."

Kaiden, who has now re-learned how to walk, talk, and eat, has lost the use of her right hand. Her grandmother thinks Kaiden is the lucky one, as she held up pictures of other North Country abuse victims who couldn't attend Thursday night since they were all in cemeteries.

I think Kaiden is going to be a big voice against child abuse," Waite says, "I'm going to make sure she is. She gives me the courage to keep going. She makes me feel like you can do anything because she survived."

Statisitcs on the Office of Child an Family Services website indicate there are 164,000 annual cases of child abuse in New York State. Those are just the ones they know about.


Dan Levy

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