Two-year-old girl in hospital after possibly falling during epileptic fit, say police
The mother of the two-year-old girl who is in a critical condition after she was believed to have been beaten and dumped at the Motherwell Clinic has been located.
Details emerged over the weekend of how the girl's mother, who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity, was tracked down by police on Friday evening.
It appears that the incident could turn out to be a misunderstanding with the child injuring herself after suffering an epileptic attack and then collapsing.
The alarm was raised on Friday afternoon when police appealed to the community to assist them in tracking down an unidentified woman who dumped the child at the Motherwell Clinic on Monday January 7 without leaving her details.
The original police information was that the woman said the child’s name was ‘Mazi’ and then ran off. Due to the severity of the head injuries, the clinic transferred her to Dora Nginza Hospital and is currently still on life support.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said that the mother,24-year-old was located together with the friend who dropped the girl at the clinic, after extensive search by detectives.
The child lives with her mother in Wells Estate who allegedly left the girl with a friend when she went out.
“The mother says that the child was not in her care at the time of the incident,” he said.
“The mother had allegedly gone to visit her mother and left the child with a nearby friend while she was out. This woman is a well known family friend and often takes care of the girl.”
Beetge explained that the mother claims to have gone back to the clinic on the same day but was then sent to Dora Nginza and Livingstone Hospitals after supposed confusion as to where the child was being kept.
“It appears to be the mother's friend who allegedly took the child to the clinic and had left in a panic to find the mother and tell her about the incident. On the same day, they both went back to the clinic and claim that they were then sent to Dora Nginza and Livingstone Hospitals. Only the following day it appears that they had found the child in the Intensive Care Unit at Dora Nginza.”
Beetge said that detectives were waiting for a medical report to confirm if the child suffers from epilepsy.
“The family claims that the child allegedly had a fit during the time the mother was away which prompted the mother's friend to seek urgent help at the clinic. She then ran out of the clinic in a panic to alert the mother,” he said.
“It appears that while the child was in hospital, a social worker saw the injuries on the child and alerted the police. At the time police were alerted, it was unknown that the mother had in fact been to the hospital to visit the child.”
Beetge said that detectives were still consulting with the woman’s family and friends to rule out foul play.
“Witness statements and various details are still being attained by detectives.”
Officials close to the case said that they were awaiting reports from the hospital.
“Only once we have a report from the hospital, will we be able to ascertain if such injuries could be caused by an epileptic fit. At this stage, the entire matter is subject to investigation.”
Beetge said that the case was very sensitive at this point in time and added that police were still investigating a case of attempted murder.
The Motherwell Cluster Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit is spearheading the case.
Only once the probe is concluded will the National Prosecuting Authority take a decision on the way forward.