TACOMA, Washington — A Tacoma mother is mourning the loss of her daughter who died Sunday nearly 15 years after she was violently shaken by her biological father.
Shannon Stiles said her daughter, Baylee, died from complications stemming from the abuse.
At 3 months old, Baylee was rushed to the hospital in January 2000, Stiles said. Doctors determined Baylee suffered severe head trauma and quickly suspected child abuse. Baylee's biological father, who was Stiles' fiance at the time, was arrested several weeks later on the same day Baylee was released from the hospital, she added.
"I was 19-years-old. I had to grow up then," Stiles said. "I had to be a mom of a disabled child. She ate through a feeding tube into her stomach. She never rolled over. She never sat up on her own."
Baylee's father eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree child assault and served about two years of his 46-month sentence, court records show.
Baylee would undergo nearly 20 surgeries and spent the next 15 years not being able to walk, talk, or do anything on her own, Stiles said. Baylee's health started to decline rapidly in December 2014. Stiles made the difficult decision to pull her off life support several weeks later.
"They let me climb in bed with her, and I just wrapped myself around her, held her hand, wrapped my knees around her knees, and let her take her last breath. And then I laid in bed with her for an hour until after she passed," Stiles said.
Stiles blames Baylee's biological father for her daughter's death.
"If it wasn't for him hurting her, she would be able to do anything to that she wanted to do," Stiles said. "I'm hoping he has to pay for taking my daughter's life away."
Stiles said she has nightmares about Baylee's final moments.
It's tough for Stiles to be inside her Tacoma home without her angel, she said. But she realizes it was where Baylee was at peace. It was where she was happy, Stiles said.
"I hope people will remember her love of music. Her love of family. Her smile. Her happiness," Stiles said. "Never shake a baby. If you're mad or upset or if a baby is crying and you're frustrated, put it down. A baby has never died from crying."
At this point, Baylee's father isn't facing any new charges because of her death.
Stiles said she hopes to hold a service for Baylee in late January. A GoFundMe page has been setup to help pay for her funeral and cremation costs.
Information from: KOMO-TV, http://www.komotv.com/