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I-Team: Mom Claims 6-Year-Old Injured At North Texas Hospital

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Ginger Allen
Ginger is the Senior Investigative Reporter of the CB...
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EULESS (CBS I-TEAM)  - The I-Team has learned the city and state are now investigating a North Texas hospital where a Euless mom claims her six-year-old was injured.

“He’s my everything,” says Helen Smith.

Earlier this year, Smith says teachers recommended medication for her son, Jaylen.

“He was diagnosed with autism at about one-and-half years old. He was late on speech and late on walking.”

Smith says she hesitantly took her only child to Sundance Hospital, a treatment facility in Arlington that cares for patients like Jaylen.

In tears, she explained what happened. “For them to treat him like that is just not right. It’s just not right.”

Smith says two days after she admitted Jaylen, she visited him and found his lip busted.

“He had a busted lip. I was shocked to say the least. I asked the nurse about it. She said she didn’t know anything about it.”

Smith says she met with four staff members to discuss her concern.

“They didn’t explain the busted lip. I asked the same lady that I spoke to on Saturday to go inside of her documents and try to find something indicating how he got the busted lip. She said no. She said she can’t explain it….At this point, I didn’t want to leave.”

But Smith decided to leave Jaylen, a decision she deeply regretted within just 24 hours.

“I get a phone call. They told me, in their words, that they’re not going to downsize it, that it looks worse than what it is and it’s not bad.”

Smith says the nurse was referring to Jaylen’s hand. It had been slammed in a door. Smith says the nurse told her not to come down.  In fact, Smith says the nurse told her Jaylen’s visitation rights had been taken away for bad behavior. Smith rushed there anyway. In shock at what she found, she started taking pictures of Jaylen’s bloody fingers wrapped in gauze.

“All they would say is he got his hand slammed in the door.” Smith does not believe it was an accident. “After speaking to Jaylen he said that that man slammed his hand in the door. He never said he was sorry. And you don’t do that to a six-year-old. And the least you can say is ‘sorry.'”

Smith then rushed Jaylen to Cooke Children’s Hospital. He spent the next week there. Discharge papers confirm his fingers were broken.

CBS 11 visited Sundance Healthcare in Arlington earlier this week. We sat down with the President and the CEO for about an hour. They told us the hospital was not under investigation. And while they said they hadn’t had any incidents like this, the administrators told us they could not discuss patients.

“What you’re telling me, simply put, is you haven’t had an incident like this?” asked I-Team Reporter Ginger Allen.  “We haven’t,” said Sundance Hospital President Rany Kaniecki. Allen asked, “This makes no sense to you?”  “No,” answered Kaniecki.

The I-Team has since learned Sundance is under investigation. A detective at the Arlington Police Department tells us she is investigating the case. And, we’ve learned the State Department of Human Services is also investigating. According to DHS, there have been 18-complaints against the facility. Three were substantiated. DHS says that is about average.

But for Smith, her incident has been life changing.

Jaylen points to the hinge of a door and explains what he says happened with his hand still bandaged nearly one month later. “Fingers right there. Someone close it like that. My fingers were just right here. Then the teacher close them and they got hurt.”

Sundance Hospital did not want to talk to us on camera, but President Randy Kaniecki did send us the following statement:

“The facts and details of this case will show we have acted responsibly in providing appropriate care to this patient and family. Due to State and Federal regulations, we are unable to discuss the medical records of patients. Furthermore, our Attorneys are now involved also preventing any type of communication. We firmly believe the allegations are false.”

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