FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A little girl who was allegedly assaulted by her stepmother continues to fight every day, all the while a community is coming together to support her.
It was an emotional day on Saturday for family and friends of Kaiden Rice, as people they didn’t know until recently, put on an event supporting the little girl.
“I wish it was tomorrow,” Kaiden’s great-grandmother Dale Waite said, referring to the day her great-granddaughter will walk and talk again.
“She smiles at us,” Waite said. “She works so hard and we think she’s going to be okay.”
Just one month ago, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office found 4-year-old Kaiden Rice unresponsive at a home in Fort Edward.
The sheriff says Kaiden’s stepmother, 22-year-old Marissa Bickford-Rice, assaulted her.
Kaiden was placed on life support at Albany Medical Center and was treated for a stroke and fractures to her arm, collarbone, and skull.
“None of us can imagine how any human-being could do this to a child or any human-being,” Waite said. “We’ll just, we’ll never understand it.”
Transferred to a rehabilitation facility about one week ago, Kaiden is now eating pureed food.
“She has to learn how to use her right arm, her right leg and learn how to talk, swallow, eat, everything,” Waite said.
While Kaiden recovers, the community came together at a benefit to help her family with medical and transportation costs, something that’s greatly appreciated by Kaiden’s godmother.
“Most of these people are strangers to us and they just did this out of the kindness of their hearts,” Kaiden’s godmother and Hand Across NY Advocate, Colleen Lyon, said.
Kaiden couldn’t be there herself but, she was of course on everyone’s minds, including her mother’s.
“I love you, baby,” Kaiden’s mother, Kerri Donaldson, said. “Keep being strong, I love you.”
Though she has a long way to go, Kaiden will keep being strong with the support of her family, friends, and the community behind her.
“That’s my girl, she’s going to make it, she’s going to be alright,” Lyon said. “She may not be who she was, but she’s going to be who she is.”
“We’re thankful she survived through it and we’re thankful for every day,” Waite said.
About $4,000 were raised at Saturday’s event. If you would like to help Kaiden and her family, another benefit for Kaiden will be held on Nov. 12 at St. Michael’s Church in South Glens Falls.
Kaiden’s stepmother is charged with reckless assault of a child, a felony. She’s expected to be back in court on Tuesday.
Hands Across NY, a child abuse awareness group, plans to hold a rally outside the Fort Edward Town Court on Tuesday when Bickford-Rice is scheduled for a hearing.