Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A Tampa, Florida, infant named Kaleb Schwade is hospitalized with brain injuries.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, June 2007]
Origins: In May 2007, Florida, newspapers reported a case of a Tampa day care worker's having been arrested on child abuse charges for allegedly having caused serious "shaken baby" injuries to an infant left in her care:
Investigators say it's another case of shaken baby syndrome, and the accused says she's a scapegoat.The accused (through her attorney) maintained that she did nothing to harm the child, that she noticed something appeared to be medically wrong with the infant (i.e., his breating was "not quite right") and called it to the mother's attention, and that she was told by the mother that the child would be attended to. (The case is still under review by prosecutors.)
A 5-month old boy
Rebecca Lois Saunders, 35, faces one count of aggravated child abuse.
On the morning of May 8, the child's mother left him at Saunders' home day care center, Carter said. The baby was alert and appeared fine.
When she returned that afternoon, the baby was lethargic, breathing abnormally and appeared overly sleepy, Carter said. The mother assumed he was tired, but he never regained consciousness.
Becoming worried, the baby's parents rushed him to University Community Hospital’s emergency room, and he was flown to Tampa General Hospital, Carter said.
Doctors diagnosed the child with bilateral redness, hemorrhaging, and a subdermal hematoma, or bleeding on the brain, Carter said.
The injuries were reported May 9, Carter said. A warrant was filed and Saunders was arrested at her home.
Since then, the daily updates posted to the MySpace page of young Kaleb Schwade's mother 21-year-old Kristy Schwade, and a dedicated HelpKaleb MySpace page have been elicting sympathy and donations from thousand of readers, according to the
Diane Queto, a family friend, said Schwade took Kaleb to a doctor for a respiratory infection after the call from Saunders.A "Prayers for Kaleb" discussion group has also been established on the CafeMom web site.
A day later, he was in the hospital for a brain injury.
In the weeks that followed, Schwade began using MySpace to tell what was then a small group of friends how Kaleb was doing. But, soon, total strangers were viewing her page, and by Thursday, it reflected 9, 250 "friends."
She told them the injury had blinded Kaleb. He also acquired bacterial meningitis. A noncontagious form may occur after head surgery, a Health Department epidemiologist said. Schwade told her readers that Kaleb might end up in a vegetative state, as much as she didn't want to believe it.
The injury also left him with seizures, she wrote.
On her blog, Schwade details Kaleb's medications. She tells of touching moments when he grips her hand. Sentences in capital letters punctuate her feelings, and her somber messages on Kaleb's long-term prognosis usually end with religious optimism.
She takes hospital bedside pictures of Kaleb and updates them often on her page, writing little captions beneath: "The site where the tube was." "The
Readers have posted more than 1, 300 comments on the photos. The most popular one, which has drawn about
"So precious and innocent, " wrote one reader. "I just don't understand."
On 25 January 2011, Kaleb's mother posted news of her son's passing to her MySpace page:
Kaleb went to heaven today at 5:08pm. He is now an angel and has been given the strength to walk and run and play with the other children angels. His death was very quick and he seemed very comfortable. I cannot express the gratitude for all of you and your support throughout the years. We find peace knowing that Kaleb is in heaven with Jesus and feels no pain.Last updated: 28 January 2011
The Schwade Family
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