A hospital in Monroe, Georgia, is under investigation after a 12-year-old autistic girl, Mariah Cole, suffered severe burns after she was left unsupervised in a shower, according to the 11 Alive.
Soiya Cole was devastated after learning her daughter suffered burns on 20 percent of her body after she was sent into a shower by herself at a behavioral health hospital for children with autism. She went on to say that Mariah turned the hot “water all the way up and it scalded her.”
“Her face from her chin, chest, torso, and leg – all underneath her arms is burnt with her flesh off of her,” said Soiya, who also added that her autistic daughter had never taken a shower by herself before.
“She fell backwards, hit her head, and the water just kept hitting her.”
“Ninety seconds. Can you imagine sitting for 90 seconds and counting to yourself, as a parent, knowing that your child is being burned?”
After the incident, Soiya stated that she spoke with the CEO at the behavioral hospital and she was told that the surveillance footage captured the moment her daughter was left unsupervised and was scalded thereafter.
However, the hospital refuse to release the surveillance footage and they were reluctant to comment on the matter.
Soiya believes what the hospital did to her daughter was a criminal act and she has contacted Monroe police, but there was nothing they could do as the hospital is reportedly not part of their jurisdiction.
The mother stated that “had it been you or I, in our own home, we would have been investigated, possibly arrested. And I feel like someone needs to be held accountable for this.”
It was not immediately made clear if the hospital apologized for leaving an autistic child unsupervised, but Soiya stated that “there’s nothing the facility can say or do that will ease Mariah’s pain.”
“To reach out to somebody and think you’re doing something in the best interest of your child and then this happens,” she said. “It’s devastating – I’m crushed.”
“What are you doing to never let this happen again? What are you doing to protect the other children in your care?”
Other parents with autistic children were outraged after learning about the incident, saying they would have “lost it on those people at the hospital” had it happened to their children.
“They don’t care about kids with special needs a lot of the time,” wrote Martha Jennings in a Facebook post. “I have witnessed that at several hospitals myself. I pray for that little girl and her family. I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
Another Facebook user stated, “I don’t think any mother let alone the mother of this child would be okay with any of this. It’s ridiculous and someone should come forward and apologize to the family and even get evaluated themselves if they knew the risks. This child is in their care to prevent things like this.”
The child’s mother later created a Go Fund Me account in hopes of paying for medical expenses. “It is going to be a long road to recovery and this comes right around the holidays,” according to the site. “I am having to take a leave from work to do full care 24 hours a day with no home nurse. We just need a little help to make it through the holiday season. Thank you all for your love and support.”
The Cole family has thus far garnered $55 in donations but is hoping to raise $2,000.
It has not been confirmed if the Monroe police have conducted an investigation.
[Featured Image Andrey tiyk/Shutterstock]