When asked about the birth of her daughter Harper, Sydney Beare lights up.
“Harper was 8 pounds, 1 ounce, 21.5 inches and the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen!” she said.
By all accounts, Harper was an exceptionally happy, and seemingly healthy, baby. She began sleeping though the night when she was just a few days old and almost never fussed, even when teething. Beare said her daughter was “totally content.”
But in July 2017, when Harper was 9 months old, she became seriously ill.
Harper first developed an ear infection, a staph infection and had an infected cut on her finger. During the next month she became lethargic and pale.
Beare noticed bruises on her legs, and later on her back and face. Harper began having diarrhea and vomiting. She also slept all the time. Despite all this, Harper’s well-child checkup in August revealed no concerns.
Then, on Aug. 21, Harper woke up with a fever.
“She was just lying there, with dry, cracked lips, screaming,” Beare remembered, choking back tears. “I was worried something was wrong but I pushed that idea aside because I didn’t want to think anything bad could happen to my baby.”