An eight-year-old girl discovered horrors no one should ever have to know. Unfortunately, she was forced to face them because the very people who should have been protecting her from the terrible things in the world, her parents, were the ones who were doing unthinkable things to her. And her horror began when she was just eight-months-old. Her name is Marie, and she wants the world to know that true heroes saved her from her abusive and malevolent parents.
As the eight-month-old baby, Marie was taken to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with fourteen fractures and a destroyed spinal cord. She would spend the rest of her life as a paraplegic because of the things her abusive parents did to her as a tiny baby.
Thankfully, the baby’s mother and her boyfriend were arrested. That’s when the child was placed in the attentive care of a social worker by the name of Michelle Surprenant. She showed her such excellent care that she changed the baby’s life – but things took a turn for the miraculous when Surprenant later adopted Marie.
Years later, Marie is doing much better. She now enjoys trips to Disney World, swimming camp, art classes, and even stints on stage as an actor during her drama clubs. In other words, Marie is living a normal life, and she loves every second of it. Things are so much better with her adoptive mother than they would have been with the abusive family she was born into it. Nevertheless, she can never forget about what they did to her because their actions left her stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
While the wheelchair is a challenging thing for her to deal with, it is a reminder about the blessings she has received in her life. And Marie wants other people to realize how important social workers are. They helped save her life, and they help save other children’s lives every day.
In a social media post, Surprenant said of Marie, “Her future looks bright, and we know very well that none of this success would have been possible without the amazing team of social workers, detectives and medical staff in Atlanta. Thank you for being the stepping stone that this little baby girl needed.”
Although Marie used to speak about the “man who hurt” her, she rarely does now that she is living a much happier life with Surprenant, who added that the lesson is that “you can move on. Anybody can have a tragedy, but you work through it and life can be beautiful. She is a happy kid. People assume because she has a physical disability she will be unhappy or maybe she has a hard time making friends. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Although Marie is grateful to her social worker mom, she plans to leave that work to her. Instead, she hopes to help people in a different way. Marie wants to grow up to become an orthopedic surgeon.
“Every time she sees her orthopedic surgeon, she’s asking him career planning questions,” Surprenant said. “But I told her sometimes he has to be at work at 6 a.m. some days, and she thinks that’s a little too early. She’s wondering if she’ll be able to work the night shift.”