OLATHE, Kan. -- The trial for an unlicensed Johnson County home daycare owner Paige Hatfield is set. Hatfield is accused of abusing and severely injuring a 4-and-a-half month old boy in her care.
Kingston Gilbert had been in Hatfield’s care for just 11 days when his mom got a call every parent fears: Your son is in the hospital, severely injured.
Ashleigh Garcia held her now 2-year-old son outside of the Johnson County Courthouse Friday, as she prayed as she prayed with Team Kingston, a mighty group of friends who have been supporting the family through the unimaginable.
"'I mean, there`s days that are hardly survivable," Garcia said.
January 31, 2017, Hatfield called 9-1-1 because Kingston was throwing up. According to court documents, doctors at Children's Mercy Hospital said Kingston was “suffering from abusive head trauma,” which is, “only caused by violent non-accidental physical trauma.” They said Kingston’s injuries resulted from, “extreme violence.”
"We spent 18 days in the I.C.U. just praying that he got through,” Garcia said. “We were told by doctors he is never going to be the same boy. I mean, we pretty much had to grieve the loss of out child and accept that the baby that we were bringing home was not the baby that I dropped off at daycare that day."
Hatfield, 27, is charged with aggravated battery and operating an unlicensed daycare. Prosecutors say she is the person who caused permanent damage to Kingston.
"His brain is severely damaged, he is blind,” said Garcia. “Like all of those are things that happen to the outside of somebody and like, we still see our baby in his spirit."
John DeMarco and Stacey Schlimmer disagree with the determination made at Children’s Mercy Hospital. They represent Hatfield.
“Unfortunately, in the cases that I have worked that have involved accusations of child abuse, I have found out that it is a default diagnosis,” said Schlimmer.
“And what that means is the hospital cannot figure out what is going on with a child that presents with certain injuries, they then default to child abuse. And to my knowledge there is no other area of medicine where they do this. The problem in these cases is they do a jump to conclusion before they can do any other tests or anything that would eliminate child abuse. Particularly in a case of Ms. Hatfield’s. She does not have the opportunity to ask for a second opinion she has to strictly rely on what has been reported by the hospital.”
The trial is set to begin January 14.