Mom of child with traumatic brain injury facing eviction

by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - The mother of a 16-month-old with a traumatic brain injury says her family is facing eviction after falling behind on rent.

Rylee Barnett was hurt in January of 2013 after police said her father Greg Barnett slammed her into furniture.

"We've come a long way since that three months we spent at Scottish Rite when they told me she might not even wake up," mother Courtney Johnson told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri.

Johnson says her daughter was just five-weeks-old at the time. Prosecutors said Barnett beat the child after an argument with Johnson at their Johns Creek home. 

"He took her by her right wrist and slung her into my dining room table. Head first," Johnson said.

Johnson said Rylee's medical needs including a possible skull repair surgery next month, have made it hard to keep a full-time job and care for her disabled mother and other two daughters from a previous marriage. The family recently got notice they are being evicted from their rental home unless they come up with $3,200 for the last two months rent.

"I'm scared they'll take her to foster care because I can't provide for her," Johnson said.

Johnson said the eviction caught her off guard because she and her landlord had an agreement. She would pay him in increments through June when her lease is up, then she would move out. Viteri contacted the landlord who declined an interview but said Johnson repeatedly violated their rental agreement.

Johnson said she planned to pay the rent and only wanted more time to figure out where to go. She just lost her job as a receptionist after missing too much work due to Rylee's medical appointments.

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UPDATE: A local business has offered to pay Johnson's rent. Jim Callahan, President of Ackerman Security, told Channel 2 Action News Friday that his company will cover the rent for a year. 


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