New Don't Shake Jake Awareness Video!


Click here to view the Video PART 1

Click here to view the Video PART 2



Why was the Don't Shake Jake Awareness Program started?

On December 10, 1997 at 11:14 P.M. at Mercy Hospital after 26 1/2 hrs of labor I held the most beautiful baby I had ever seen in my arms for the 1st time and at 3:55 April28, 1998 at the special care unit of MMC I held him for the last time. Jake David Belisle was born into a very loving family. We had wanted so badly to become parents and were well prepared for his birth. We had read books and prepared ourselves for the social changes in our lives that the addition to our family would bring. The financial issues we did not realize. Jake's life was short but well lived. As most families do in today's society I returned to work part-time after Jake's birth to supplement for our Jake's needs. Our family members watched Jake at 1st then schedules started to conflict. So Jake started to go to stay with a wonderful grandmother I had met while I was pregnant.

Jake's caregiver was a grandmother of 2 and one of who lived with her. The baby boy had moved in with Nana at 3 months old and at 1 1/2 he was still with her. He was cared for along with Jake. I met her while doing home parties for home interiors and gifts; the subject was brought up at a party one night about me going back to work when the baby came. I told the ladies I did not intend to return to work. But the grandma approached me and told me of her circumstances with having her grandson and that she loved kids and watched children to supplement her "yard sale" money and her grandson's needs. As the schedules began to conflict I took her up on her offer and interviewed her at 2 separate occasions. I was as clear as possible about what I felt appropriate care was for Jake and that if she needed me I was only a call and 5 minutes away.

On April 27, another normal Monday my beautiful blue eyed angel was dropped off to his sitter smiling and happy in his little green pajamas. The day at the office was crazy as most Mondays are in the medical practice. At 10:48 A.M. the day went from crazy to nightmare, when I received a frantic call from Jake's sitter stating simply, "Pam, Jake come now". I dropped the charts that I was holding and headed out the door I told my boss as I passed him in the hall, Jake! Got to go! Her home was 5 minutes from work but it felt like eternity before I arrived. Needless to say the smiling baby boy that I kissed good-bye in the morning was never to be the same again.

When I walked through the door of the sitter's home I was met with a vision I will never forget. Jake was lying on the kitchen table and an officer was administering C.P.R. to him. As a mom and medical professional I wanted to help, which I knew I couldn't. The sitter told me she did not know what happened but he choked on his bottle. After what felt like hours the ambulance arrived and Jake was transported to S.M.M.C. I thought he would be O.K. there had to be an explanation.

After hours of questioning by nurses, D.H.S. officials and detectives we were told of the seriousness of Jake's injuries. He had to be transported to the Special Care unit at M.M.C. and would probably not live through transport. Although we were not able to see him only for a moment we were told that his injuries were serious but not what the injuries were. We were still suspects of his injuries so the officials were careful not to give to much information.

After multiple tests at Maine Medical Center, we were finally told that Jake was a victim of S.B.S. We were told a child abuse expert would be in the morning to examine Jake and then his life support would be removed. Not!, I'm sorry your son is going to die! I asked why if he had no brain wave why did he have to lie in that bed with all those machines hooked up to him? We were then told that Jake was the State's case and the police would make all decisions. The next morning the child abuse expert came in and finally told us of the injuries that Jake had endured. We were cleared of wrong doing due to injuries and pinpointing time frame.

Jake's life support was unplugged at 3:50 P.M. while in our arms at 3:55 P.M. on April 28th. Jake's sitter was arrested on May 1st. She made 50,000 cash bail on May 3rd. She was to be on house arrest. She then was released from House arrest in June of 1998.

In January of 2000 almost 2 years after Jake's death, Jake's killer was sentenced to 15 years with 5 years suspended and will actually serve 8.5 years in Jail.

THE JUDICIAL PROCESS IS A LONG AND WINDING ROAD OF HEARTBREAK WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CASE BECAUSE YOU'RE JUST THE VICTIMS PARENTS. IT IS THE STATE VS. THE KILLER.

After Jake's passing we felt it important not to let him die in vain. There had to be something we could do to save another child from enduring the pain Jake had to. Thus the "Don't Shake Jake" awareness program was founded.

 

Contact Information

e-mail: pam@dontshakejake.org

by mail: Don't Shake Jake Awareness Program
c/o Pamela Belisle
8 Pinecone Dr.
Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064

We look forward to hearing from you.