Abused toddler's health continues to improve

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

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Harrisburg, NC - The town of Harrisburg is the latest to throw its support behind Kilah's law.

It pushes for tougher punishments on child abusers after police said 3-year-old Kilah Davenport was severely abused by her stepfather this spring.

Her second surgery was Tuesday. Family members said she was abused so severely she lost her ability to walk, and talk. After the surgery, Kilah's grandmother told Eyewitness News that she was recovering well. Doctors replaced the front part of her skull that was removed in May to allow for swelling in her brain to go down.

Family members said doctors first told them Kilah wouldn't live longer than 72 hours and if she did she'd be a vegetable. Now it's been three months since Kilah's brain injury. Family members hope her latest surgery will be her last.

The motion passed 5-0 Tuesday night with all Town Council members voting in support of a resolution to Kilah's Law. Harrisburg is the sixth town behind it. Fairview, Indian Trial, Stallings, Midland and Marvin leaders unanimously voted to support Kilah's law. The proposed state law is set to go before state lawmakers in January.

"We expect this bill to be signed by the governor within the next year," said Justice for all Coalition founder, Jeff Gerber.

Kilah's law would increase penalties for child abuses with a proposed prison time of 25 to life, instead of four to eight years Kilah's stepfather faces, if convicted. It would mandate abusers to be on a national registry so that they're monitored, like sex offenders, when they get out of jail.

This week advocates will ask town leaders in Waxhaw and Mint Hill to support Kilah's law, and next week they'll be in Unionville and in Union County. Their goal is to get the support of 100 municipalities before the legislature reconvenes at the end of January.