Debbie's SBS Testimony

Have you or someone you know become a victim of false allegations of shaken baby syndrome (SBS)? This group was created to provide support and understanding for people and their familes who have been falsely accused. Here you will also find information about other conditions that can mimic SBS and lead to false accusations against innocent individuals. Please read Debbie's story below.
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My name is Debra Grater, and I live in Pennsylvania with my husband and two children. I was a child care provider with a great love for children when I was accused of, and criminally prosecuted for, alleged Shaken Baby Syndrome. I am innocent and have always maintained my innocence. That is the day my life and the lives of those I loved changed forever, and this is my story.

It was December 15, 2000, a normal babysitting day for me until approximately 3:30 p.m. when I was catapulted into the world of false allegations. I had been caring for a 4-month old boy for nine days, and on the tenth day he was taken to his pediatrician for a "well-baby" visit where he was vaccinated with the DTaP, Hibiter, Hepatitis, Polio and the Prevnar. He was dropped off at my home at approximately 10:00 a.m. by his mother. I checked on him regularly, and he seemed fine until around 3:30 p.m. when I found him unresponsive and barely breathing.

I called 911 and even did mouth-to-mouth on him at one point, because he stopped breathing altogether. The hospitals he was taken to concluded his injuries were consistent with child abuse/shaken baby syndrome. I was in shock.

I was viciously interrogated for three and a half hours by police and was arrested on charges of "shaken baby syndrome" (SBS). I was out on bail after being placed in an "involuntary" medical hospital for a "psychiatric evaluation."

Upon my release I began to research this so-called SBS. I found out that, many times over, adverse reactions to vaccines were being misdiagnosed as SBS, yet SBS is only a theory, never proven as a definitively understood entity. By researching the medical journals, it was clear that the experts in the field could not even agree on what SBS actually is! Even more shocking was the discovery that adverse reactions to routine vaccinations can "mimic" what is thought to be SBS. Upon further researching vaccines, I was shocked to see that tens of thousands of children are damaged and many even killed by vaccines. I had always thought vaccines were safe.

I found that the ingredients in vaccines were nothing more than a witches' brew of animal blood, toxic metals, neurotoxins, viruses, bacteria, and even a pesticide! Yes, pesticide. Thimerosal, a common ingredient in many vaccines, is a registered pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Thimerosal is nearly 50% mercury, and a routine "well-baby" visit can see a child get injected with up to 62.5 micrograms (mcg) of mercury! EPA guidelines for mercury exposure are 0.1 mcg of mercury per kilogram of body weight per day. The child in my case was given over 40 times the "safe" amount in matter of minutes—directly into his bloodstream and shortly before he was dropped off at my home.

In addition, this child had had an indication of possible neurological conditions, as his head was abnormally large. The Physicians' Desk Reference clearly states that any child with an underlying neurological condition SHOULD NOT BE VACCINATED.

Even healthy children can have adverse reactions to vaccines, and my son and daughter are perfect examples of that. At 6 months my son was vaccinated, then again at 9 months. He received the HepB and Varicella at 12 months and the MMR and Hib at 15 months. In March of 1997, at age 6 months, he started with episodes of vomiting and diarrhea and had poor weight gain. At 9 months he was in the 5th percentile on the weight chart—very underweight. Then in November of 1997, at almost 17 months, it was noted that he had lost 1-2 pounds since he was 9 months old and had more episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. The doctors say it was lactose intolerance and failure to thrive, but I feel now it was the vaccines that did it. Just look at the pattern. If only I knew then what I know now.

In January of 2001 my daughter was given the Polio, Prevnar and Varicella shots and then in April of 2001 she was given the MMR, Hibiter and Prevnar again. Both times she developed a high fever of 104.6 and went into hypo-tonic/hypo-responsive episodes. She would not walk, talk, eat, drink or play. She laid around like a rag doll. I voiced my concerns to the pediatricians and they said "we do not usually see that happen" and brushed it off. When I refused more shots for my children I was dismissed from their practice and told to secure medical care elsewhere. Oddly, my children are healthier now than they were when they were getting the shots.

Vaccines carry serious and sometimes fatal consequences, and people need to know this so they can truly make an informed choice. They also need to know what to do to avoid legal pitfalls in choosing what gets put into their bodies or their children's bodies. No one can force you to do anything you do not want to do.

I was left no choice but to take a plea agreement of no contest, as I could have faced up to 15 years in prison in the aforementioned case. I chose not to risk what a jury would decide, because most people (like myself at one time) believed vaccines were safe. I chose to secure that my children would grow up with their mother. So that I would not go to prison innocently, I chose to accept a "NO CONTEST" plea. I am slowly picking up the pieces and moving on. I maintain my innocence and plan to make a difference by raising awareness. The system needs help, and parents/caretakers need to be informed. In my case, I believe this child was damaged by vaccines, and so did some doctors. If you would like to know more about my case you can contact me at:

Debbie Grate

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(Why reversing this conviction will help many people)

Alan Yurko


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