Mother ‘caught on hospital camera suffocating newborn son after telling doctors baby had breathing difficulties’
A mother who claimed her newborn son repeatedly stopped breathing was caught on a hidden camera in hospital allegedly trying to suffocate her baby.
Katie Lewis had rushed her five-month-old son to hospital telling doctors the child would stop breathing, turn blue and then regain consciousness.
Staff at the Children’s Hospital in St Paul, Minnesota, arranged for the child to be placed under observation for 24 hours in a room fitted with a video and audio monitoring system.
They also performed a series of tests but could find no evidence to support 24-year-old Lewis’s claims about her baby.
Lewis was told her son was being released from hospital as doctors could find nothing wrong.
Staff reportedly became suspicious when Lewis insisted there was still something wrong with her baby.
As a nurse watched on a video monitor Lewis allegedly tried to smother her son.
She picked up her son, pinched his nose and held her hand over his to cut off his airways, a report says.
According to an arrest report the boy kicked frantically and after 45 seconds went limp and unresponsive in his mother’s arms.
When medical staff rushed into the room, Lewis told them, ‘His heart rate went down and he turned blue.’
Police were called to the hospital and in an interview with detectives Lewis said she ‘wanted to do something’ so that medical staff would help her child.
She also admitted she ‘snapped’ due to the stress and frustration of bringing up her children.
Lewis allegedly admitted to stopping her son from breathing on several occasions from February 12th.
She said she was familiar with CPR and knew how little pressure was needed to cut off her baby’s oxygen supply.
The young mother was charged with child endangerment, domestic assault by strangulation and third-degree assault.
Prosecutors praise the quick thinking hospital staff.
‘This is a sad and terrifying act by a mother against her infant son,’ said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.
‘Thankfully, a quick-acting hospital staffer stepped in to stop the assault, and now the infant is in good condition and in a secure location.’
In a statement from the director of the Minnesota Children’s Resource Center at Children’s Hospital a spokesman said the infant sustained ‘substantial bodily harm.’