A 4-year-old boy was thought to be napping in his bedroom at the father’s home in Gold Manor, Ohio. However, the boy was found gasping for air on Nov. 25. According to court documents obtained by Fox19 Now, the young child suffered from “agonal breathing.”
WebMD defines agonal breathing as: “Agonal breathing is when someone who is not getting enough oxygen is gasping for air. It is usually due to cardiac arrest or stroke. It’s not true breathing. It’s a natural reflex that happens when your brain is not getting the oxygen it needs to survive. Agonal breathing is a sign that a person is near death.”
The boy was rushed to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Doctors determined that the 4 year old was overdosing on fentanyl and was a victim of child abuse, according to court docs.
The mother of the boy – 34-year-old Alexis Scarborough – was visiting the father’s home to celebrate the child’s birthday on the day he allegedly overdosed.
Scarborough was reportedly arrested on Monday.
The father of the child – 39-year-old Denard Bishop – had remained at large before being taken into custody by police on Thursday.
Scarborough was charged with one count of endangering children.
Bishop is also facing a criminal charge of endangering children. Court documents said the father “did neglect to show a duty of care and safety” for the boy.
Scarborough pleaded not guilty to the child endangerment charge during a hearing on Wednesday.
The judge rejected a request from the mother’s lawyers to release her on her own recognizance so she could return to her job as a hotel housekeeper.
Scarborough’s bond was set at $10,000. The judge ordered her not to have any contact with her children unless she received permission from child services.
Scarborough’s children are currently in the care of Hamilton County Job & Family Services, according to her attorneys.
Bishop appeared in court for the first time on Friday.
The boy is expected to recover from the fentanyl overdose.
“Fortunately, hopefully, this child will be okay,” said Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition co-chair chief Tom Synan.
“Luckily, they got medical attention,” Synan stated. “It is something that in some cases you can reverse.”
“And hopefully, there’s no further impact, and the child and everyone in this incident learns from it and is able to take those safeguards and get the help and the resources they need so that they’re not using drugs anymore,” Synan added.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 4,915 unintentional drug overdose deaths in 2022 in the state – a 5% decrease from 2021. Of the drug overdose fatalities, 81% involved fentanyl.
Ohio Department of Health director Bruce Vanderhoff said, “While the numbers headed in the right direction last year, they are no cause for celebration. Tragically, thousands of Ohioans are still dying from substance use disorders. I urge Ohioans to do what they can to prevent these deaths, from learning how to use naloxone to knowing where to turn for help for you or a loved one in need.”
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