Kentucky community rallies around toddler in critical condition


GREENUP, Ky. (KT) – A small Kentucky community has rallied around a toddler who is in critical condition after allegedly being shaken by an adult on April 27.

Calliope Anne May, 2, suffered severe injuries to her body and brain, authorities said, after being shaken or slammed by an individual who has been arrested and is in custody.

Once news broke about Calliope, prayer chains were started on Facebook and a Go Fund Me account is approaching $13,000 in only a few days of becoming active. The fundraiser was organized by Faith Fountain of Ashland, a friend of Calliope’s mother, Linda K. Pemberton, who said she “felt compelled to help the mother and her daughter in some way.” Fountain was stunned by how the community stepped up in the first 24 hours.

“I just woke up and I can’t stop crying,” she said in a Facebook post. “I’m lost for words. Never put a limit on what God can do. I only asked for $500 for sweet Calli and her family. We have raised in 24 hours $3,053. This is mind-blowing. Thank you to everyone who has donated!!!”

The fund has quadrupled since the first 24 hours.

Churches and individuals have rallied around the toddler with the special smile by praying for her. She was the first one mentioned by Wurtland Nazarene Pastor Scott Hill during Ashland’s National Day of Prayer event Thursday morning.

The toddler seems to be on everyone’s mind and prayers in the northeastern Kentucky area that includes Ashland.

A candlelight prayer vigil was organized for Calliope on Thursday night at the Raceland High School football field.

The Raceland Police Department said in a press release that the toddler was found unresponsive at Foothills Apartments in Wurtland on Saturday at approximately 8 p.m. The child was transported to Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital and later airlifted to the Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, where she remains in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit listed in critical condition, police said.

The child's diagnosis is non-accidental trauma or closed head injury, said police.

Bobby Lee Brantley, 32, of Ashland was arrested on Monday by the Raceland Police Department in connection to the case on the charge of first-degree criminal abuse of a child.

Brantley was lodged at the Greenup County Detention Center.


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My heart breaks for this little girl and her family. This little girl was a perfectly healthy toddler and in a matter of a few seconds, her life was terribly changed in what was likely a fit of rage. I don’t understand how anyone could ever hurt an innocent young child. Prayers are sent for this little girl and her family.

Friday, May 3, 2019

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