||October 26th, 2006|
Pastor’s Wife Has History of Post Partum Illness
Officials involved in the investigation and prosecution of the case against an Escondido woman who allegedly tried to drown her children are wrestling with the issue of post partum depression.
Kristen Lawson, wife of a Lutheran pastor who heads up a church in Escondido, has a documented history of post partum depression in two prior births.
Six years before she was accused of trying to harm her children Kristen Lawson told family and friends she needed help.
She had sought help previously but each time she completed a pregnancy the symptoms would reappear, say family and friends.
“She suffered a horribly depressed feeling,” says Darci Marzinske of St. Clair, Minn., one of her best friends.
After the news was broadcast that Lawson, now 30, had been arrested for trying to kill both daughters, everyone who knew her assumed that post partum depression had once again set in. By all accounts, she was an outstanding mother and this incident was totally unlike her, in her normal mental state. Indeed, her husband, the Reverend Robert Lawson, Jr. said repeatedly, “she is the world’s greatest mother.” Lawson was at a Minnesota church conference with his five year old son when he heard the news.
Even Escondido police believe post partum depression may have played a role. “I can tell you that we think it played a role,” Escondido police Lt. David Mankin said, adding that his belief was based on “statements from her as well as medications she'd been taking.”
Today, Kristen Lawson – who posted $250,000 bail Wednesday after being held in jail for two weeks – awaits a preliminary hearing in a case that presents a thorny issue for the criminal-justice system: To what extent should a woman be punished for trying to hurt her children if it is determined that she is in the grip of postpartum mental illness?
Lawson faces up to seven years in prison and there appears to be few options in sentencing, should she be found guilty. There does not appear to be an option for the judge to order counseling and probation or incarceration.
The congregation at their church is raising money to help pay for her defense and has set up a Web site, Kristenlawson.com.
Local Eldercare Company, Area Agencies and Retailers Play Santa to Overlooked Seniors
A local eldercare company, along with area retailers and eldercare agencies, are bringing Santa to the lives of seniors who may be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season. Be a Santa to a Senior Program is in its third year of providing gifts for needy seniors. The first year 1000 needy seniors received gifts. The second year, 1264 needy seniors received gifts and interaction from volunteers in the community. Home Instead Senior Cares Vista office is hoping to reach 2000 needy seniors this year.
The area office of Home Instead Senior Care, the world's largest provider of non-medical home care and companionship for the elderly, has teamed with local eldercare agencies and local Wal-Marts to provide presents to seniors who otherwise might not receive a gift this holiday season.
Prior to the holiday season, the participating local senior organizations will identify financially needy and lonely seniors in the community and provide those names to Home Instead Senior Care for this community service program. Christmas trees, which will go up in the five Wal-Mart stores in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, and San Marcos on November 21, and will feature ornaments with the first names of seniors and their respective gift requests.
Holiday shoppers can pick up an ornament, buy the items on the list, and leave them at the store along with the ornament attached.
For information call Lee Duperry at 639-6472.
Better Business Bureau Offers Essay Contest
The San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB) is inviting all high school juniors and seniors (graduating classes of 2007 and 2008) in San Diego County to submit a 400-word essay about the importance of ethics and integrity in our community and be eligible to receive a scholarship of up to $1,500. Deadline to submit essays is Monday, Oct. 30.
Essays can be e-mailed to the BBB's LeAnn Eldridge at email@example.com, or faxed to (619) 283-1327. More information is available at www.sd.bbb.org.
The BBB said the essays should include viewpoints and examples about the importance of ethics and integrity in our community, including honesty and civility. An independent panel of judges will evaluate the essays