Prayer vigil held for 10-year-old shot on playground
MILWAUKEE - A vigil for 10 year old Sierra Guyton was set to begin at 7:00 Friday night. Ahead of that, we spoke with an organization that serves Children's Hospital, where treating young trauma victims has become all too common.
Children's offers immediate help to the victims and their families, sending a kind face to guide their every step. It's all part of Project Ujima.
"Coming to the emergency room is a pretty scary place, especially if you're young and especially if you're shot," said Toni Rivera-Joachin, Project Ujima manager.
And so, faces like Toni Rivera-Joachin arrive at a patient's bedside within 30 minutes.
"A child may move around the hospital, radiology, you know, they may have to have CAT scans and things like that, and so our staff really follow that child around the hospital with the family," said Rivera-Joachin.
Sierra Guyton's family's among the latest to receive that kind of help.
"And we've got a great children's hospital ... and you know why they're good at saving the lives of shot children? 'cause they've had so much practice," said Milwaukee police chief Ed Flynn.
Rivera-Joachin says when the victim is a child, families may want to retaliate. She counsels against that.
"We know that for families, anger is a natural response and they have a right to be angry, but what do we do with those feelings," said Rivera-Joachin.
Children may be angry and afraid, and have nightmares.
"If someone came into their home and shot them, they may wanna bombard the door with stuff to keep themselves safe on the inside. In their mind, that's the way they're keeping themselves safe," said Rivera-Joachin.
Project Ujima provides guidance for families for 15 months. Some of the kids go to support groups where they might participate in Hip Hop therapy. They put their story to words and set the words to music.