GEORGES TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Fayette County woman is facing charges after her young son was hospitalized earlier this week with critical injuries.
The boy suffered critical brain injuries, and now the woman’s family is telling their story.
There are two very different stories about what happened in the trailer home on Jarrett Drive in Georges Township on Saturday.
State police are charging 19-year-old Jessica Rhodes with shaking her baby son Jonathan to stop his crying.
“She had picked him up and he started to fuss a little bit, like any baby,” said Joshua Rhodes, Jonathan’s uncle.
Joshua Rhodes says he was with his nephew when and sister, Jessica, in the living room when Jonathan took a tumble trying to walk while holding onto the couch.
“He fell onto his butt and rolled backwards,” said Rhodes.
Seconds later, as Jessica held Jonathan, he started shaking. Joshua put his laptop down and took the child.
“In the time I had him, he had quit shaking, but he also quit breathing twice,” said Rhodes.
While Jessica called for an ambulance, Joshua – who was in the Army National Guard – used his medic training.
“Each time, just a very light press on the chest, and he’d gasp for air and start to breathe again,” he said.
Jonathan is in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital with critical brain damage. It was there that Jessica was asked about shaking her baby.
“And they just kept on pressuring her, asking her questions over and over and so she wrote it where they would leave her and her family alone,” said Sherry Hixon, a family friend.
“I know he wasn’t shaken,’ added Joshua.
During an MRI of Jonathan’s brain, Joshua says doctors found something that may have a bearing on what happened.
“They found a birth defect of the veins in his brain not growing correctly,” he said.
Family and friends are praying for Jonathan. For now, his mother is not allowed to be with her son.
“She wouldn’t care what would happen to her as long as the baby was okay,” added Joshua.