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Jail for Sick Children

May 2, 2009 permalink

Kaylee Wallace was born with a birth defect, Joubert Syndrome. Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children scheduled Kaylee to become an organ donor, but when her life support was turned off, she continued to breathe on her own, canceling the transplant.

On Wednesday, parents Jason Wallace and Crystal Vitelli tried to take Kaylee to a new hospital, but children's aid and hospital security blocked any effort to remove her.



Kaylee's dad praises Sick Kids

By TAMARA CHERRY, SUN MEDIA, Last Updated: 12th April 2009, 7:28pm

In what was expected to be a statement expanding on concerns raised last week about their daughter's hospital care, baby Kaylee's father instead expressed appreciation for Sick Kids staff today.

Kaylee, who was born with a rare brain malformation called Joubert Syndrome, was ruled out as a heart donor for Lillian O'Connor when she was taken off her breathing machine ahead of a possible transplant Tuesday night and continued to breathe on her own.

Her parents, Crystal Vitelli and Jason Wallace, had decided they wanted their daughter's heart to go to Lillian, whose story had been chronicled in the Sun, after they said they received a grave prognosis on their daughter's condition.

On Friday, Vitelli told reporters she and Wallace were speaking with lawyers in light of developments over the last week.

"The comments that were made made my wife and I feel pressured into making decisions that may not have been in the best interest of our daughter for our position," Wallace said outside the downtown Toronto hospital today.

"Without going into detail about that, we'll just simply say that we addressed it with them and there has been an apology that we were made to feel that way and that moving forward, it's not going to happen again, and Kaylee has a right to care as much as any other child in this institution has.

"They're being much, much better now," Wallace said with a laugh. "We really appreciate that. And again, Sick Kids is an amazing hospital."

Sick Kids would not comment on Wallace's statements today.

The initial prognosis given for Kaylee "turned out not to be the case," Wallace said. "She's proven everybody wrong, right? It may be that Joubert is such a confusing syndrome that it confused them, even the best in the world."

When reached by phone earlier today, Wallace said he would not be making a public statement, as, "The little one has got some more problems, so we're more concerned with what's going on with her."

Both Kaylee and Lillian, who was born with a congenital heart defect, remain in "stable condition and in the care off the neonatology intensive care unit," Sick Kids spokesman Judy Noordermeer said.

Kaylee's parents received support and criticism from media across the continent after stepping outside the hospital several times throughout last week to talk to reporters about their situation.

Source: Toronto Sun

Parents stopped from taking Kaylee to another hospital

April 30, 2009, Henry Stancu, Staff Reporter

The father of baby Kaylee tonight backed away from his plan to breach doctors' orders and flee with the sick infant from the Hospital for Sick Children.

Late Thursday afternoon, Jason Wallace and his wife Crystal Vitelli told reporters they were going to take Kaylee to a hospital in Newmarket regardless of Sick Kids' position on the matter.

Extra security staff patrolled the baby's ward to prevent that from happening.

The incident is the latest in an ongoing dispute between the parents and hospital staff and officials.

Thursday evening he said, "She's my baby and I'm taking her out of here. I'm afraid for her safety if she stays," outlining his plan to remove the baby in a car seat and dash out of the hospital.

In the afternoon Wallace said a children's aid society case worker was en route to the hospital to help him remove Kaylee, but when that case worker didn't arrive Wallace said he was going to take Kaylee, "in an hour if they don't show up".

When asked why he didn't want to wait to have Kaylee moved from Sick Kids to hospital in Newmarket in an official transfer he said; "We don't want to wait, we want her out of here now."

A security officer said Kaylee was under constant guard and the parents would not be able to leave with her.

"He's already been told we won't let that happen and if he tries police will come and arrest him," the guard said.

About an hour after reasserting his plans, Wallace had spoken to both hospital officials and a CAS representative and this time he was told if they tried to remove Baby Kaylee the parents faced arrest and their daughter would be placed in the care of the CAS.

"It's not going to happen," Wallace said about an hour later, before leaving the hospital without Kaylee.

"I have to abide by that and we'll see what we can do tomorrow," he added.

About 24 hours earlier the couple filed a complaint with Toronto police alleging a nurse at the hospital had assaulted Vitelli on April 17, and they also alleged their daughter had been assaulted by nursing staff on two other occasions.

Sick Kids would not comment on the incident.

Source: Toronto Star

Addendum: Back in the news over a year later.



Baby Kaylee's kidneys failing

Baby Kaylee
Baby Kaylee is seen in this May 2009 file photo.
(STAN BEHAL, Toronto Sun)

Baby Kaylee’s saga continues.

The parents of the little girl who made international headlines last April called the media to talk about their daughter’s failing health Wednesday — but instead spent most of their time talking about a domestic violence incident and the role of the Children’s Aid Society in taking their second child last weekend.

Jason Wallace, 34, and common law partner Crystal Vitelli, 21, were voluntarily providing information to the CAS about any changes in their lives.

When the couple informed CAS they were separating, a meeting was called. Vitelli said the CAS workers didn’t show up on time and when they did show up and Kaylee’s parents had already left, the police were called.

Both Wallace and Vitelli were arrested and nine-month-old Savanna was taken into foster care.

“We live in a society where we should be free but (there is) this kind of harassment and behaviour,” Wallace said. “When (CAS workers) simply just go above that and use Gestapo-type of tactic and say, ‘you police must move on this,’ and then they kick in our door.”

Both parents were released and their daughter returned to them by Monday.

Kaylee suffers from a rare brain disorder called Joubert’s, a malformation of the brain stem.

As for Baby Kaylee, who suffers from a rare brain disorder called Joubert’s, she has been back in the hospital since Jan. 25. Her kidneys are failing and she still requires a ventilator, she is also fed through a tube 20 hours a day.

She needs a kidney transplant in the next four months or dialysis to keep her alive.

Neither of her parents are eligible to donate one of their kidneys because they both have health complications.

“We would like the public to stand forward and say that they would be willing to fight...with us to get her on the (transplant) list,” Wallace said. “Or they wish to help out a child and they could be interested in donating one of their kidneys,” Wallace said.

Source: Toronto Sun