Baby in hospital with ‘suspicious injuries’ to spleen, liver area

Published 10:31 am Friday, August 26, 2011

A 17-month-old Austin baby is recovering from liver lacerations, spleen damage and internal bleeding — deemed “suspicious injuries” — at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester.

Mower County Human Services (MCHS) has filed a child in need of protective services petition against the girl’s mother, 21-year-old Heang Kim Sean, of Austin, in Mower County District Court.

According to the petition, St. Marys Hospital contacted MCHS on Aug. 13, saying the baby had “suspicious injuries,” including bruising to the chest, abdomen, legs, knees, inner thighs and groin area. A CT scan revealed liver lacerations, possible spleen damage, pancreatic trauma, possible bowel damage and internal bleeding, according to the petition. The petition did not make any specific references to how the infant received the injuries.

Email newsletter signup

St. Marys staff informed Human Services the infant would need extensive surgery to repair the damage done to her organs. As of Aug. 14, the girl’s white blood cell count was high, indicating infection, and her platelet count was dropping, indicating liver damage. Hospital staff were attempting to stabilize her and stop the internal bleeding so she could undergo surgery.

According to the petition, St. Marys staff told MCHS Sean did not make any contact with her child on Aug. 14. She is allowed only supervised contact.

MCHS is petitioning the court for custody and continued out-of-home placement for the baby. The petition states, “There are grave concerns regarding the safety and care of (the baby). This is an infant that has had severe, traumatic and life threatening injuries inflicted on her in the past four months. This child cannot be returned to the care and custody of her mother who is not willing to protect her.”

The girl’s father, Dion Schulz, lives in Utah, according to the petition, and does not appear to be involved with the child protection matter.

According to the petition, MCHS was involved with Sean and the infant in May 2011, when the baby had a “suspicious” broken leg and broken wrist. “A determination could not be made regarding the injury not being an accidental injury,” the petition states. However, a child protection case was opened to monitor the child’s safety.

No criminal charges have been filed in Mower County District Court. Assistant Mower County Attorney Aaron Jones, representing MCHS in the child protection matter, said an investigation is likely continuing.

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi and Chief Deputy Mark May were unavailable for comment.

St. Marys Hospital did not respond to a request for the baby’s condition Friday morning.