A mother from Olathe, Kansas, Ashleigh Garcia dropped her newborn baby off at daycare. Baby Kingston Gilbert has been going to the daycare for just eleven days when the unthinkable happened. The home daycare was run by an unlicensed provider who was found guilty of leaving the 4-and-a-half month-old baby permanently blind with brain injuries.
What followed was “barely survivable” according to Garcia.
Daycare owner Paige Hatfield, 26, called 911 on January 31, 2017. Two years later in January 2019, Hatfield was found guilty of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, a felony count.
Hatfield was also found guilty of operating an unlicensed daycare, which is shockingly only a misdemeanor offense. She is to be sentenced sometime in March 2019 according to Fox4-KC, and prosecutors have asked for an enhanced sentence since she ran a daycare.
Even now, Kingston is having issues with such basic functions as sleeping.
On the Team Kingston Facebook page, a family member posted on March 5:
“Kingston hasn’t slept well consistently since he was injured. We are so blessed my parents moved back here to help us take care of him. Together we have alternated sleepless nights for over two years. Praying consistent sleep comes soon 🙏🏼👊🏼”
The toddler continues to face serious developmental challenges, finding great difficulty in communicating verbally.
With every step we praise his name. Our God is an awesome God 🙏🏼👊🏼
Posted by Team Kingston on Wednesday, 12 July 2017
When Hatfield called for emergency help that day, she claimed it was because Kingston was throwing up. However, once doctors examined him at Childen’s Mercy Hospital, they determined the baby had suffered from “extreme violence” and abusive head trauma.
What’s more, they concluded that the injuries were “only caused by violent non-accidental physical trauma.” Kingston was bleeding in three separate locations of his brain as well as in the back of his eyes.
“WE SPENT 18 DAYS IN THE ICU JUST PRAYING THAT HE GOT THROUGH THIS.”
“WE WERE TOLD BY DOCTORS, HE’S NEVER GOING TO BE THE SAME BOY,” SAID MOTHER, ASHLEIGH GARCIA.
Meanwhile, Hatfield’s attorney, Stacey Schlimmer, disputed the verdict in January after entering a not guilty plea on Hatfield’s behalf.
“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,” said Schlimmer.
The Kansas City Star noted that Hatfield has denied any wrongdoing.
“’Ms. Hatfield repeatedly denied that (the baby) suffered a fall or was injured in any way in her care,’ a detective wrote in the documents.”
As the sentencing day for Hatfield approaches, Kingston’s family shared what it was like to make it past the two-year mark since the day of the incident.
“We made it through yesterday. We didn’t talk about it. We just got through it.
Yesterday, marked two years since she shook our baby and our entire world, changing our lives forever. Yesterday, marked two years since I had the most raw conversation with God in the form of screams and tears. Yesterday, marked two years since I literally felt the presence of the Lord so powerfully that peace washed over me and I knew my prayer was answered right in that moment…
He would save Kingston. These past two years have tested us all to the core. These past two years have shown me the power of prayer, miraculous healing, and unwavering belief in God’s will. Praying this year is nothing less than amazing for Kingston. We will keep our eyes on Jesus and trust it will all be okay 🙏🏼👊🏼”
See more from NBC affiliate, 41Action News below: