Miranda was born on April 14, 1982, in Casper, WY to Randy and Tracey Baker. She was the baby girl they wanted. Diagnosed with spinal meningitis, June of 1982, she spent a month in the hospital. Upon her release she started to receive services and later attended Casper Child Development Center. She made friends immediately and enjoyed her days there.
She was quite a tease to her brothers! One day Steven was rolling his cars across her tray on her wheelchair and she would swipe at them till they fell to the floor, when Steven bent down to get the cars she would grab his hair and laugh as hard as she could. Yes, she had a sick sense of humor and we all loved that about her!
She went to AJ Woods and again made friends. Students and teachers knew Miranda wanted to be the center of attention. She learned to use a communication device. The first time she said “I love you mom” I cried. She also told us she didn’t like Gatorade or chicken noodle soup! She became the poster child for United Way in 1991. She was excited about all the attention she got during that campaign year.
In 1992 Dan came into our lives and our world changed for the better. We moved to New York in 1993. We lived in Adams Center and Miranda attended Calcium Primary School. Her brother Jonah attended South Jefferson HS and played on the basketball team. She loved going to his games. While at Calcium Primary School she started in the MOVE program. She was one of the first kids that got a walker for big kids and she would go up and down the hall just squealing with delight. She had grown men watching her with tears in their eyes, including her Dad. He was so happy to see his “Sparkplug” moving under her own power. We spent 10 years in New York and hated to leave, but Wyoming was calling us home.
Miranda didn’t like anyone to eat in front of her she, she would always whine until you feed her what ever you were eating. One day, Jonah and I were out and Dan had decided it was a good time to get out his limburger cheese. Miranda had kept an eye on him and he didn’t offer her any, so she starts to whine and Dad told her she wouldn’t like it but she insisted, so she got her taste of limburger cheese. She did not like it and she shook from head to toe and just let it fall out of her mouth. She didn’t bug him anymore for bites of limburger cheese!
Oct 2002 Miranda went to live with a host family, Carolyn and Polly. She was introduced to a new environment, one with animals of all kinds, big dogs, little dogs, cows, alpacas, and pigs. Carolyn or Polly had to take the dogs outside to scold them otherwise Miranda would get upset. In fact she didn’t like any kind of yelling or arguing. She also got the nick name “MONKEY”. She attended Circle C and IReach in Casper, again she made many friends. Everyone commented on her infectious simile. She then moved to Torrington, WY with Carolyn and Polly and Stephanie as they had become family and I couldn’t dream of even trying to find another family for her to live with. Polly always had her up and dancing around or walking around the house or where ever they were. Miranda’s job in the house was to sit behind Stephanie as she did dishes and kick her butt. The weather in Torrington allowed her to get outside more and get around the animals, she wasn’t really fond of the goats but she liked all the rest. She could sit by the big window in her home and watch the peacocks strut around the yard. She loved her dogs who often took rides with her in her wheelchair. She liked the farm life and I am grateful to Polly and Carolyn for loving Miranda and taking such great care of her. She enjoyed her life with them. Thank you.
March 1, 2013 Miranda died at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, NE from complications of pneumonia.
Even there she made friends, some of the caregivers came in on their time off to be with her, even though she never opened her beautiful eyes during her stay.
With her death she saved 3 lives with her organ donation. Her heart and pancreas are being used for research.
30 years was not long enough for us to have Miranda but it was long enough for her. She forever will be in our hearts and she will be forever loved.
Miranda is survived by her parents Dan and Tracey LaPlatney, her brothers Jonah (Jessarae) Baker of Aurora CO, Steven (Amber) Baker and Chance Baker of Casper WY, Her caregivers and 2nd family, Carolyn Rockwood and Polly Griffith.
She was proceeded in death by her father Randy Baker, grandparents Robert and Vonnie Boatman, Leon and Theda LaPlatney, and great grandparents Vaughn and Eva Tolman.