Cat has been a stay-at-home mom, since the birth of her first child, Ian, in December, 1991. Born with a rare condition called gastroschisis , he spent his first 6 months fighting for his life! After the doctors successfully repaired his defect, her family still had to live with the reality that at anytime, Ian’s bowel could slip and twist, and they could lose him. As parents, they decided it was more important to focus on their family, and make each day count - as it could be Ian’s last. Cat’s family grew by one on November 6, 1993, with the addition of her beautiful baby girl, Saskia. Her birth was also traumatic, as Cat bled out from placenta previa - and Saskia was delivered stillborn! They were both revived, yet a few months later it was discovered Saskia was deaf. The ear canal had never formed in her left ear, and she had less than 10% hearing in her right ear, due to fluid build-up. Saskia eventually recovered more than 80% of her hearing in her right ear, after learning sign language and lip reading.In August, 1998, Cat’s family increased by one more... Kessa arrived, healthy, beautiful like her sister, with no complications. Cat’s family was close knit, loving, creative and fun! Her home was constantly filled with children, and the sound of laughter. She worked on the annual Toy Drive with her local Fire Department each year, and voluntarily taught art and worked with the reading program at the nearby elementary school. December 20, 2011, a young man the family had known for over 10 years came into Cat’s house, intending to kill everyone, and murdered her beloved Saskia.“We were Once the Burkes...” In the wake of this horrific tragedy, Cat began writing – to remember and honor Saskia, to help her deal with the trauma incurred in both hearing and seeing her daughter murdered in her home, to SURVIVE! She provides her unique perspective, giving both voice and a face – TO VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME, and the issues they are faced with!
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