Doctors: Baby may be permanently brain-damaged by abuse

Doctors: Baby may be permanently brain-damaged by abuse

Credit: HCSO

Crystal Jackson

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 2 at 4:14 PM

HOUSTON—Doctors say it may take years to learn if a 2-month-old who allegedly suffered continuous abuse at the hands of his mother will lead a normal life.

The baby’s mother, 27-year-old Crystal Renee Jackson, was charged with felony injury to a child.

The child’s father said he left the baby with Jackson on March 19 while he went to work the overnight shift at his fast food job. The baby was in good condition when he left, but said Jackson called him around 1:45 a.m. and said the baby had fallen off the bed and was not “acting normal.”

He told her not to let the baby fall asleep and instructed her to immediately call 911.

When he called back 10 minutes later, paramedics with the Houston Fire Department had already arrived and were transporting the baby to the hospital.

The father then headed to Texas Children’s Hospital to check on his son. The prognosis was not good.

The baby suffered branching fractures on the left and right side of the skull, subdural hemorrhaging (bleeding over the brain), healing rib fractures, and a widening of skull sutures due to increased swelling and pressure inside his head. His condition was critical and he would most likely have permanent brain damage, doctors said.

Jackson was questioned about what happened to the baby.

According to court documents, Jackson told doctors that sometime between 1 and 2 a.m., she left the baby asleep in her bed while she went to the bathroom. While in the bathroom, she said she heard a “thud,” followed by the baby’s cries.

She said the baby had fallen off the bed.

Jackson said after that, while she was holding the baby on her hip, he hit his head on the edge of the door frame at least two or three times. She added that the infant had done that multiple times in the past, investigators said.

When asked about the fractured ribs, Jackson said she might have squeezed the baby too tight.

Doctors said Jackson’s explanation was not consistent with the extent of the injuries. The mattress and box spring sat directly on the floor and the distance from the top of the bed to the floor was only 22 inches. Furthermore, the force that is required to break a baby’s ribs is exceeding what any competent adult would use to manipulate a child in the course of any normal activity. They did not buy her story and said, in their opinion, the baby had been abused.

As a result of his injuries, it is highly likely the first four years of the baby’s life will be very challenging and he is going to need extensive rehab and therapy, doctors said.

Charges were filed against Jackson and her bail was set at $30,000.

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