Bethany is a little older than two years of age. Bethany Bayne was born August 3, 2007. She was a few weeks old when she was removed from her mother’s and father’s home and she has not been back since then. She has been in the custody of the Ministry of Children and Family Development and in the care of foster parents within a childcare system that does not require all foster parents to be licensed or registered.
Bethany was born prematurely. At the time of the accident that her parents reported in late September 2007, Bethany’s tiny body was dealing with the rigors of this early introduction to the world. She was anemic at birth and had milk intolerance like her two brothers when they were born. Bethany’s slow progress was interrupted by a head trauma caused by the accidental tumble of her small brother as he came around a corner into the room in which Bethany was lying on a blanket on the floor. Zabeth witnessed this mishap. Of course the incident was alarming and Paul and Zabeth delivered CPR as they rushed her to emergency at Fraser Valley Hospital in Hope. At the hospital she was unable to breathe and unresponsive after vomiting and she was hooked to oxygen and monitors. The hospital was unequipped for infants so she was sent home after a one hour observation. Some hours later her parents returned her to Fraser Valley Hospital because she was not moving her limbs, was not feeding or crying. She was transferred to (MSA) Matsqui Sumas Abbotsford Hospital where an examination failed to find anything wrong with her and she was released next day. Three days later she was taken back to Fraser Valley Hospital because she was vomiting and not crying and she was diagnosed with constipation and released. She was still in trouble.
In early October Zabeth and Paul took their baby to Chilliwack Hospital where she was given a bowel x-ray which was inconclusive. She was transferred to MSC Hospital where from October 6th to the 9th her increased head circumference was noted and a CT scan considered but not done. Her monitors indicated breathing stoppage a couple of times. She was checked, stabilized and was sent home. Then on the 13th of October the Ministry of Children (MCFD) now instructed Zabeth and Paul together with their doctor to take all three children to the Apple Clinic. Of all things, a neighbour, concerned about the children’s physical sizes, had reported that the children were malnourished and neglected. Their family doctor later termed this citizen’s call as malicious. The stresses continued. Three days later mom and dad took Bethany to the Hope Clinic which then ordered a CT scan which was accomplished at Chilliwack Hospital. The scan results were sent to Sick Children’s and finally after all that had preceded, the scan results were reviewed by two doctors, one of whom delivered the life changing diagnosis.
This doctor was knowledgeable with Shaken Baby Syndrome Research. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is, in essence, a medical diagnosis based on the presence of a diagnostic triad: retinal bleeding, bleeding in the protective layer of the brain, and brain swelling. Bethany had all three. She was a sick baby girl. A well informed doctor when faced with an injured child with no evidence of physical abuse other than the triad of SBS symptoms will consider it his/her duty to be cautious for the sake of both the child and the parents. This respected physician diagnosed Bethany as, what else, a Shaken Baby. A Shaken Baby has to have a Shaker, and who would be the most likely Shaker? One or both of the parents.
The consequence was the removal of all three children from the Bayne home, a harrowing arrest of Paul and Zabeth, resultant charges of aggravated assault on both of them; the unpleasant interrogations that insinuated that they, loving parents of two little sons, chose to maliciously shake up a baby daughter who was two months old. No wonder Zabeth went into alarming shock and a brief hospitalization.
What was learned only later was that Bethany had osteopenia of prematurity. Osteopenia is a decrease in the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the bone. This can cause bones to be weak and brittle, and increases the risk for broken bones. While in the womb, fetal activity increases during the last 3 months of pregnancy. This activity is thought to be important for bone development. During the last 3 months of pregnancy, large amounts of calcium and phosphorus are transferred from the mother to the baby so that the baby's bones will grow. A premature infant may not receive the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus needed to form strong bones. Most very premature infants have limited physical activity, which may also contribute to weak bones. There may be an increased risk for fractures throughout the first year of life for very premature infants with osteopenia of prematurity. As for prognosis, fractures will usually heal well on their own with gentle handling, and increased dietary intakes of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. However, Bethany was also lactose intolerant (couldn’t digest milk product) and therefore lacking in vitamin D. Lactose intolerance is sometimes seen in premature babies whereas children who are born at full term generally do not show signs of lactose intolerance until they are at least 3 years old.
Today Bethany is doing well. The shunt was removed several months ago. Her vision which was an earlier concern is normal according to a disclosure report. Perhaps due to her premature birth she is developmentally average. At her age she is using a fork and spoon and cup. She is understanding of most conversation but her speech is below average and includes only a few words like “Daddy” “Mommy” “doggy” “milk” “cookie” “amen” “bumpa” for Grandpa and “Gammy” for Grandma.
Finally after two years Bethany is with her two brothers. Bethany was moved recently into the same care home as her two brothers Kent and Baden. That's a good thing relationally. She knows them because of occasional family visits together but it is uncertain that she understands that they are family.http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Baynekids/