While visiting the Iredell County Health Department, Amy Eisele caught a glimpse of a woman holding a tiny baby with snow-white skin and bright blue eyes. One month later, Mrs. Eisele received a call from the Department of Social Services. That tiny baby, who she had taken notice of at the Health Department, needed a foster home. Billy, who was badly neglected, became part of the Eisele family. Billy was blind and malnourished.
Mrs. Eisele remembers the sleepless nights in which Billy cried all night. She sat beside a swing cranking it all night long in an effort to get Billy to sleep. During the day, Billy connected with the Eisele's young daughter, who was able to make him laugh.
When Billy reached eighteen months, Mrs. Eisele experienced a high-risk pregnancy, and her doctor deemed that she was no longer able to care for all of Billy's needs. Billy was placed at Holy Angel's Nursery, where he soon died. Mrs. Eisele said,"Every mother gets mad when her baby dies. It was no different for me. I was angry." She began to research child abuse and neglect and learned that maltreatment is often caused by a lack of parenting knowledge.
Mrs. Eisele began a Parents Anonymous group in 1976 to provide support and how-to knowledge to parents. This group led to the formation of a child abuse prevention council in Iredell County. In 1987, with help from Dr. Durham Lewis, Mrs. Eisele was able to form an Exchange Club center in Iredell County under the umbrella of an Exchange center in Winston-Salem, NC. This child abuse prevention agency worked to educate parents, and SCAN of Iredell became its own agency in 1991.
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