North Carolina Mother Crusades Against Child Abuse After Bartlesville Infant Death

Friday, November 19th 2010, 9:18 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The story of a Bartlesville baby killed in a washing machine brought a mother to Tulsa all the way from North Carolina.

Barbara Harris and her oldest son are far from home, spreading a message that's close to their hearts. Their goal is to break the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction, starting with mothers.

"Every time we write a check I feel like we've spared innocent children from suffering," Barbara Harris, with Project Prevention, said.

Harris came to Green Country because she heard about little Maggie May, the ten-day-old Bartlesville baby who was found dead in a washing machine on November 4, 2010.

11/18/2010 Related Story: Bartlesville Infant Found Dead In Washing Machine Remembered In Candelight Vigil

The baby's mother, Lyndsey Fiddler, is behind bars accused of the crime. Both Fiddler and little Maggie May tested positive for drugs.

"It bothered me because I knew it was preventable," Harris said.

Harris' organization, Project Prevention, pays addicts to get on long-term or permanent birth control. She started it, after raising four children who were born to the same drug addicted mother.

"I was actually very frustrated because I had to watch my babies withdraw from drugs," she said. "I had to watch how they suffered. And I just don't think its ok for anybody to infringe their drug habit on an innocent human being."

Harris spoke at Maggie May's memorial and joined the candlelight vigil afterwards. But she wants the baby girl's memory burned into the hearts of Green Country long after the candles go out.

"That's nice that they came. And then they'll go home, they go to bed and it's forgotten. There's thousands, hundreds of thousands of children like Maggie May who survived who are in the foster care system or waiting to be adopted. They need someone to care about them too," she said.

That's why Harris is beating the streets, sharing her story with law enforcement and taping up flyers, so no child will have to suffer like Maggie May.

Barbara Harris practices what she preaches.

She's already adopted and raised four drug-exposed babies.  Now she's planning on adopting eight Michigan siblings who were also drug-exposed, because she can't bear to break up the family.