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updated: 8/19/2011 6:20 PM

Fundraiser held Saturday for beaten 3-year-old from St. Charles

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  • Molly Koch, now 3, in the summer of 2010.

      Molly Koch, now 3, in the summer of 2010.
    Courtesy of Carrie Johnson

  • Molly Koch, 3, in the summer of 2010.

      Molly Koch, 3, in the summer of 2010.
    Courtesy of Carrie Johnson

  • Molly Koch with her grandmother, Carrie Johnson, on her birthday last November at Children's Memorial Hospital.

      Molly Koch with her grandmother, Carrie Johnson, on her birthday last November at Children's Memorial Hospital.
    Courtesy of Carrie Johnson

 
 

The family of a 3-year-old girl found beaten in a St. Charles hotel room nearly a year ago is reaching out to the community for help with her medical care.

Molly Koch was 2 years old when St. Charles police and emergency personnel found her unconscious, severely beaten and not breathing at a Super 8 hotel. An investigation led to the arrest of her mother, Cathleen Koch, and her mother's boyfriend, James C. Cooper. Police believe Cooper inflicted the actual beating while Koch let it happen and then lied to protect Cooper. Criminal cases are still pending against both Cathleen Koch and Cooper.

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In the meantime, Molly Koch is still recovering from the injuries she sustained. Molly suffered head trauma that caused brain swelling and the removal of part of her skull. She has therapy sessions five days a week in hopes of returning to some semblance on her former self.

Molly's maternal grandmother, Carrie Johnson, has been one of the only family members to speak publicly about Molly's condition. The public sharing of Molly's story brought the possible financial needs of recovery process to the attention of a Lake Zurich-based nonprofit called Friends in Deed. The charity is organizing a fundraiser for Molly from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Moretti's restaurant, 1175 W. Lake St. in Bartlett. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children.

"It's just a tragedy what happened to Molly," said Larry De Vera, a spokesman for the charity. "It broke out hearts that she was hurt so bad."

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to a fund for Molly's medical expenses. Johnson will oversee the fund.

"Molly's doing OK," Johnson said this week. "There have been a few setbacks, but she's doing therapy and sitting up on her own. She isn't able to do tons of stuff yet. But my goal still is that Molly will be running up and down our street and talking with the neighbors again within the next two years.

"We once had a little girl who could count to 10, knew her colors and could put sentences together. I don't have that right now, and that's hard for me. I think about it all the time."

Johnson said she has tried talking to Molly's mother about the ordeal. Cathleen Koch is Johnson's daughter.

"I don't understand what happened, and I probably will never understand it," Johnson said.

For more on the fundraiser, go to helpfriendsindeed.org.

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