A Gretna couple will present their experiences with raising a shaken baby to an international conference this weekend. Richard and Natalie Hadley wanted to share the perspective of what raising a disabled child does to everyone around that child.
Richard and Natalie Hadley will present “The Long Term Effects of Shaken Baby Syndrome and the Family” at the 12th International Conference on Shaken Baby Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma in Boston on Oct. 1.
The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome invited the Hadleys to speak at the conference after contacting Richard Hadley about his documentary, “Rain,” which follows a year in the life of the Hadley’s son Ranier.
Ranier Hadley, now 17, was shaken by a home daycare provider at the age of 3 months. He suffered permanent brain damage that left him developmentally delayed, mentally impaired, partially paralyzed and partially blind.
“About 25 percent of shaken baby syndrome victims do not survive,” Richard Hadley said, citing statistics from the National Center. “The other 75 percent survive, the majority with permanent disabilities ranging from learning disabilities to a nearly vegetative state. The families of those survivors face all of the challenges of other families with disabled children, plus the complexities of legal actions.”
The documentary shows the impact of shaken baby syndrome on not only Ranier and his parents, but his siblings, grandparents, teachers, caregivers, doctors and school peers. The Hadleys’ presentation at the international conference, which runs Sept. 28-Oct. 1, will focus on the impact on the family.
The Hadleys co-founded Progressions Shaken Baby Syndrome Support Group to provide information and assistance to other victim’s families.
They speak several times a year at local area high schools, including Benson, Millard South, Millard West and Westside, about the dangers and prevention of shaken baby syndrome, reaching an estimated 300 students each year.
The Hadleys also appear in a shaken baby syndrome awareness and prevention video that Nebraska hospitals must show to parents of newborns before they leave the hospital.