SACRAMENTO -- A 2-year-old girl who suffered a severe brain injury in May, allegedly at the hands of her 16-year-old babysitter, is making remarkable strides in her recovery.
"Basically that she would never recognize me again. She'd never walk, talk, breathe on her own, eat on her own. That’s what they said. And they gave us the option to let her go, as peacefully as possible, if we wanted," Jessica Lamar said.
Lamar's 2-year-old daughter Gia Faye Sam was airlifted from her home in Brownsville to UC Davis Medical Center in May.
At the time, the Yuba County Sheriff's Office told FOX40 that after deputies interviewed the babysitter, a trusted friend of the family, as well as the victim's siblings who were present during the incident, it was determined that the babysitter injured Gia while attempting to discipline her.
“I didn’t find out until about three weeks ago the full extent of the story and what he actually did to her," Lamar said.
Lamar said the babysitter first admitted to slamming Gia against a wall because she wouldn't go to sleep and snuck a piece of candy. Later, Lamar said, the babysitter said he pushed her head with an open palm, causing her to lose her footing and hit her head against a wall. Lamar said the babysitter then waited a while before calling authorities.
The force of her injury shifted Gia's brain in her skull, damaging 75 percent of it, according to her mother.
“But now, she's actually doing fantastic. She's right back to sassy little Gia Faye. She wants everything her way. She talks now, she eats on her own, they had a tracheotomy put in originally but they took it out cause she’s doing so well without it. The only thing she's not doing yet is walking, but we're hoping she will with physical therapy. She's trying to, so that's good," Lamar said.
But now the family has other worries.
Lamar said she was told if she didn't secure adequate permanent housing by next Tuesday, when Gia is expected to be released from the hospital, she could be temporarily placed in protective custody.
“It would be a temporary placement, if she can't stay where I'm at. I'm staying with my pastor right now, which is a blessing," Lamar said,
“We don’t have a big house, but we have big hearts. And we just wanted her and the kids to be together," Cindy Walker said.
Walker and her husband operate Bread of Grace Ministry out of West Sacramento. Since Lamar and her seven kids had to move closer to Gia to see her through her hospital stay, Walker opened the doors of her 900 square foot home to the family of 8.
"One bathroom too, that’s the kicker...she’s a wonderful mom and I didn’t want her to feel so alone," Walker said.
Lamar has steady employment, income and rental history but needs some help finding rental to fit her family on short notice.
They hope to welcome Gia home to a new place where she can continue to recover.
"I told the kids today and they’re ecstatic," Lamar said.
If you have a rental property available for immediate move in near Sacramento or Rio Linda, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 274-9824
The family is also raising money for Gia's recovery at: https://www.gofundme.com/jwba4g