Marie Surprenant is not your typical 8 year-old little girl. Marie was abused severely as an infant, and as a result of the the long-term suffering, she is unable to walk from the injures she sustained. You would think that this would make Marie a bitter and angry child, but actually she is quite the opposite. The young girl is actually grateful.
Marie has scoliosis, which is caused by her paralysis, so she requires metal rods in her back and also needs to have surgery twice a year.
Surprenant had to be taken to the hospital as a child by her biological mother’s boyfriend, but he lied to doctors and said the infant fell out of her bed, and that’s when social workers got involved and made sure that Marie could never be hurt again. When Marie was admitted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta she was only 8 months-old, and weighed about 14 pounds. She was severely bruised all over her body, and had more than 14 fractures. Sadly, Surprenant also suffered a spinal cord injury that left her a paraplegic.
ABC News reports that the 8 year-old has written an open letter to the social workers expressing her gratefulness and telling them that she is now happy and living in safe environment. Marie was adopted by Michele Suprenant, who also happens to be a social worker, as soon as she was released from the hospital.
Marie’s mother, Michele, has been spending some time explaining to her daughter how wonderful social workers are, and how sometimes they tend to get a bad reputation. Michele goes on to explain that a lot of people are scared of social workers, because they think all they do is take babies away from people, but that really isn’t the case. Most social workers are good people, that are just trying to do their jobs and making a difference in people’s lives.
The message must have stuck with Marie because she wrote the most heartwarming and inspirational letter to social workers. Now, that letter is being shared worldwide as a message of hope for all young children who have to suffer at the hands of a child abuser. The letter was originally posted on Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta blog, and has already received almost 6,000 hits, just on Facebook.
Marie’s letter is below.
Dear social workers and detectives,
I want to thank you for making me happy by giving me a new warm and safe environment. Now I have a home that is nice and I have three nice meals a day. This Marie Rose Surprenant. When I was a baby I got hurt and you were on my case. When I was little I got hurt and I wasn’t going to walk at all. I couldn’t walk because my spinal cord was broken and couldn’t be fixed. So they asked how I got hurt in the E.R. But he lied, and said that I fell out the bed. So then that’s when you got involved and solved my case and didn’t let the bad guy hurt me or anyone else.
I think that if you never helped me, my life would still be awful and lonely. Because they might not help me, not feed me or they would hit me when I cried. But now I’m much better. I now have a safe, happy environment. I’m also around smart people.
Now my life is much better. But the only thing that drives me crazy is our pet dog named Jo. She snores as loud as a vacuum and sounds like an old man. I also have two cats. Their names are Gypsy and Mr. Fluffy. Gypsy is grey all over and has green eyes. She likes to play with yarn mice, she likes cat scratchers, she is very curious and likes to watch what we are doing all the time. And Mr. Fluffy is a black and white cat with green eyes too. He likes to sleep on his beach chair all day from 10am to 5pm. But he’s active at night. I love pets but I love lizards. My favourite lizard is a bearded dragon. My class has a class pet that is a bearded dragon. His name is Mr. Cuddles.
I wish that you keep doing what you do to make the world a better place and to make kids feel protected. I also wish that no matter how big or small the case is you will at least try and help the kids.
Marie has shown what strength and faith can do for a person. She is an inspiration at only 8-years-old, and has such a bright future ahead of her. Suprenant has recently been accepted into the fourth grade at a top Atlanta private school, and she spends her free time doing what most 8-year-old little girls do. She plays with friends, learned how to swim despite her disability, goes to art camps, attends the drama club, and even enjoys body surfing.
Marie’s mom has started a GoFundMe page to help get the little girl a specialized wheelchair that their insurance will not cover. They have already received over $2,000 in donations, but it is still leaving them about $18,000 short of their goal.
[Photo courtesy of GoFundMe]