If you would like to donate to support dental repairs for my mom, visit her fundraiser here.
by Stan Morris
After spending 33 days in the Intensive Care Unit of NEA Baptist hospital, my mom – whose name I’m deliberately not printing – was released last month. With so many unknowns about what happened to her, I decided to move her to a new home and also let her come stay with me until the time comes when she feels comfortable being alone again.
In the four weeks since, I have watched my mom go from weak, pale, and barely able to walk to being energetic, full of life, and almost back to normal. The nurses in the hospital described her recovery as a “miracle.”
The update everyone is looking for is that she is okay, she is going to live, and she is going to help cook the biggest Thanksgiving dinner our family has ever seen.
It was a long road to this recovery, though.
Her injuries included:
- Closed Fracture of Symphysis of Mandible (Broken jaw on the left and right side, fractured up the middle)
- Fracture of Alveolus of Maxilla (from the jaw up to the lip, her jawbone was fractured)
- Chin Laceration
- Lip Laceration
- Three top teeth broken, a fourth damaged significantly.
- Bottom teeth damaged/bent apart
- A five inch gash on the top of her head which was stapled shut. Below it, a single large bruise/contusion
- Acute kidney trauma
- Bruising to the back of hands, front and back of arms
- Bruising to the knees
- Concussion/neurological symptoms, including memory loss, cognitive decline, and PTSD
As a result of all of these injuries and further complications in the hospital, she had to receive:
- A tracheotomy; was on a breathing machine for several days because she stopped breathing due to dried blood and teeth in her airway.
- A feeding tube, first through her nose and then a PEG tube, which is in her abdomen to her stomach.
- An appliance wiring her jaw shut for several weeks and then banding it together for a month. The removal, she said, was the most pain she’s ever felt in her life.
To see EXTREMELY GRAPHIC PHOTOS of my mom’s injuries, which she has asked me to share, click here.
As extensive as her injuries were, doctors and nurses were convinced she had sustained a beating from an attacker. This is all the family heard for weeks from staff at NEA Baptist. The initial rape kit and case file was requested by Dr. Jeffrey Guirand, the hospitalist with a specialty in internal medicine at NEA Baptist.
He told us, “You would have to be pretty dumb to think she could have done this to herself.”
It made the next part of the story very difficult for us to all hear.
After investigating for over a month, we learned from the detective assigned to the case that he was closing the file, pending no new information from the rape/DNA kit (which is in line at the State Crime Lab, the only lab in Arkansas).
His conclusion: Mom had sustained all of her injuries in a fall.
His explanation was that she had fallen on the table and then from the table to the floor again. This led to her having two black eyes, an entire mouth full of broken or damaged teeth, major bruising to the back of her hands, kidney trauma, a gash on the top of her head and a gash under her chin. (Graphic photos show each injury listed.)
One difficult reality my mom has asked me to print is that she had prescriptions for both hydrocodone and cyclobenzaprine. She has five bulging discs in her lower back. Even though this came from the same medical provider, she acknowledged this was an addiction. She has quit taking both and actually fought with her nurses to not be given pain medicine while in the ICU. However, the police detective’s first question to me was about this and he believed it played a role in her loss of balance.
Thus, there will be no arrests. Unless the DNA under her fingernails comes back as a foreign assailant, or some other evidence appears, the case is closed.
Even more tragically than the sting of this was that the result will mean she will be ineligible for crime victim compensation programs we had planned on to repair her smile. All we have is the $1,650 or so we could raise through her GoFundMe page. Once her jaw was un-wired, the damage was revealed to be worse than we had thought. She will probably lose two more teeth and her bottom teeth have been shoved apart by whatever was slammed into her mouth.
Although our entire family is closer than ever before and plans to spend the holidays together, we can’t help but think that a vicious monster is going to go unpunished for attempting to murder my mother.
An upcoming story will detail the entire investigation. Thank you for the interest in this case and my family. To donate to my mother’s dental fund, which will be used only to pay for her dental bills, please go to this link from GoFundMe and in advance, thank you for considering helping.