PORTLAND, Ore. - An 8-month-old boy is clinging to life after he somehow got wrapped up in a feeding tube that was supposed to help him live.
Andrew Turner is in critical condition at Randall Children's Hospital and his mother, Tanya Turner, is struggling to understand how this could have happened.
Andrew, who was losing weight to wasting disease, was already struggling to survive. He was in the hospital for the third time on Saturday to get a new feeding tube.
During the hospital visit, Tanya said she and her sister left for about a half hour to take a break for lunch.
"We mentioned it to the nurse and the dietitian and they both understood that we were leaving," Tanya said. "When we left, I was the one to put my child to sleep. I laid him in the crib on his back. That's where he was when I left."
But by the time Tanya and her sister returned from lunch, something was terribly wrong.
Andrew Turner and his mother, Tanya Turner (photo courtesy of the Turner family).
"I found my son on his stomach with his head pressed against the crib," Tanya said. "And his feeding tube was wrapped around underneath his arm and wrapped around his neck five times."
"I finished unwrapping the cord from around his neck and I rolled him over," said Allison Mills, the boy's aunt. "And his lips were purple and he was completely blue."
"My son was completely blue, not breathing, no heart rate or nothing," said Tanya.
Panic set in and Tanya said she and her sister could not find a nurse.
"I had the nurse's button on for two minutes," Tanya said. "Nobody showed up. It took me running down the hall screaming that I needed help for my son."
A photo of Andrew Turner after he opened his eyes on Monday, April 15, 2013. (photo courtesy of the Turner family).
The family told us that Andrew ended up with swelling on his brain and was having seizures. They said he was placed in a medically-induced coma and on Monday he did open his eyes. It's not known at this point if he has suffered any permanent brain damage.
The hospital said it is trying to figure out exactly what happened.
"It's very unusual," said Bronwyn Houston, Director of Randall Children's Hospital. "We've never had an event like this happen at our facility. And, in fact, we're looking nationally to see if we can find any other facility where an event like this has happened."
"I thought bringing him back to this hospital, from the other first two times, that he'd be well taken care of," said Tanya. "And now my son is fighting for his life and we don't know what's going to happen."
"I feel that the hospital is responsible," she added. "More than one person knew I was leaving. They specifically told me they were going to check on my child every five minutes. Nobody checked on my child, for how blue he was in the face and body."
"I couldn't believe it," said Mills. "I feel like as a parent who is in the hospital for days, you should be able to leave and your child should be OK. I think they're in the hospital and that's what the nurses are for, to check on them. I was in disbelief that he couldn't be breathing. He has to be breathing. He has to be OK."
The family had already set up a prayer page for Andrew on Facebook before all this happened.
"My son is my world," said Tanya. "He means everything to me. I can't imagine anyone else going through what I'm going through. I pray my son is strong enough and can pull through this. I don't know what life would be like without my son."