Girl thrown from Beaufort balcony to begin rehab, fund set up

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 2, 2012 

  • The family and friends of Dionna Hagood have set up the "Hope for Dionna Hagood Fund" to help cover the 3-year-old's medical expenses.

    For more information, contact First Citizen's Bank at 843-522-8088.

  • Get breaking news and story updates about crime, courts and emergency services in northern Beaufort County by following Protect and Serve on Twitter.

Tenisha Simmons still wonders what happened on Dec. 19 in Shayla Bryan's third-floor apartment off Ambrose Run.

Authorities believe that on that night, Bryan, 22, severely beat and stabbed her 3-year-old daughter, Dionna Hagood, then threw her from the apartment's balcony.

No one, including Beaufort Police Department investigators, seems to know why.

"Those are questions we still don't have answers to," said Simmons, Dionna's godmother. "We just can't imagine how this could have happened."

Bryan was charged with attempted murder and remains in the county detention center after being denied bond, according to the jail log. If convicted, she faces as many as 30 years in prison, according to state law.

Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy has said Bryan has not stated a motive for the attack but admitted to assaulting the child.

Dionna was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she still is being treated for injuries police described as "severe."

The road to recovery has been long and trying for the little girl, Simmons said.

"She's not at 100 percent yet by far, but she's progressing," Simmons said. "The doctors are optimistic that with rehab, she'll be able to regain a lot of her normal function and get back to where she was before all of this happened. She has to learn to walk and talk all over again."

The girl's treatment has been costly and promises to be even more so when Dionna transfers to a rehabilitation facility in Charlotte this month, Simmons said.

"We haven't gotten a bill yet, but we imagine it will be quite a bit," Simmons said. "Unfortunately, it increases every day and promises to be quite, quite expensive."

To help cover Hagood's medical expenses, Simmons and others close to the girl have set up the "Hope for Dionna Hagood Fund" at First Citizens Bank in Beaufort, she said.

"We ask that people donate what they can and continue to keep her in their prayers," Simmons said.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at

Related content

  1. Police: No new leads on why 3-year-old thrown from balcony in Beaufort, Jan. 11, 2012
  2. Police: Girl beaten before falling from apartment balcony, Dec. 21, 2011

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