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Terrel Peterson Case

By Emily Paige Roberts© 2007
Daniel Thomas Burney

My son Daniel was born in 2004 5 days after Christmas. What a wonderful gift. The times that you are going to be parent should be the happiest times in ones life, and it was. A beautiful baby boy. The day that my son was born, and after, he was rushed to the Neonatal Unit of our hospital. Daniel was born 28 weeks into gestation, which means he was born 10 weeks early. He weighed 2 pounds and 6oz. I could fit him in the palm of my hand. I was so scared. A few weeks later we found out that Daniel was born with VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) - in English - a hole in his heart. Then I got more scared. What if he could die. The nurses monitored him and kept a close eye on him. At times his heart rate would drop tremendously, the monitors would go off, and of course I was up asking questions. Probably a pain to the nurses I'm sure. =0)
On February 12, 2005 my son was sent to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta @ Egleston. Here he would grow and prepare for surgery. On April 11, 2005 ( I remember so well because it's the day before my dau.'s birthday). On that day Daniel was rushed into emergency surgery. I was astonished because the hospital had not called me at any time to let me know that this was happening. This is in Atlanta, and it takes me nearly an hour or more to travel to Atlanta. I rushed to get to the hospital so that I could be with my son. During this time, the next 5 hours would be tough. No Doctor NEVER came to let me know how the surgery was going or anyting. I paced the floors, much like a worried mom would do - scared for her child.

The surgery was a success. I went to his bedside finally, Daniel hooked up on millions of wires, monitors, it seemed like andan oxygen mask covered his little face. I wanted to hold him so desperately but new that I couldn't.
After a few weeks Daniel was put into his own room on the Neonate floor of the hospital. I stayed with him on a day to day basis until I was sure that I could go home on an occasion and check on things here. On May 15, 2005 I remember it like it was yesterday. I had spent the night at the hospital. The next morning was a nightmare. Before I begin, I would like to state that I was in the process of learning to care for Daniel at home. I had already taken the CPR course and received a certificate. A few weeks before he was put on a continuous feed per NG Tube (NasoGastric Tube). For those who don't know what this is, it is a tube that runs from his nostrils, through the esophagus, and ends in the stomach, which he is fed through with a Kanga Pump.
Anyway, ON May 16, 2005 I returned to Daniel's room after going down to the lobby of the hospital. I walked passed the Nurses Station and the nurse there informed me that I needed to call DFACS/CPS in my county. I had no idea why until I returned to Daniel's room. I entered the room, and immediately new something was wrong. The nurses said that I had left my son's crib rail down. I kept thinking to myself of the events prior to. I knew that I had not done this. I tried to explain this to the nurses and they did not want to hear my explanations. The nurses also said that I had hooked up the NG Tube wrong and that the tube was about to go into his eye. I was heart struck. I told the nurses that when I left Daniel's room there was no milk in his tube and that he was sound a sleep. The nurses continued to accuse me of this. So, I left and went back downstairs to talk to the Patient Rep. who was no help at all. She stated that she could not stop an investigation once it had started. I had no idea what she was talking about. I thought she meant the investigation of the baby bed rail.

I went back upstairs only to be ridiculed of the things that I had done. I learned then by the nurse and the hospital social worker Laurie Hooker that my son would be taken into foster care. I don't know, maybe I was in shock. A few hours later I would leave and go home. I told the nurses that I was leaving. I left and came back that Friday Evening only to still be treated like I had comitted murder. I left that Saturday and did not return to the hospital.
The next few months would be a living hell. In my opinion.

©Georgia Family Rights-2007