On January 4th, Methuen police officers were alerted about a 10-month-old baby in critical condition. When they arrived at the scene, law enforcement officers found the baby girl exhibiting severe respiratory problems, which were later attributed to fentanyl exposure. The officers checked the victim’s airways for obstruction but were unable to find any. Even though she had a pulse, the baby’s breathing was irregular, at approximately 10 to 15 breaths per minutes, as stated in the official police report.
Firefighters took over in an effort to stabilize the baby until EMTs arrived at the Methuen family residence. According to a report filed by Methuen police officer Robert Peabody, the little girl almost died from exposure to fentanyl.
Medical personnel rushed the baby to the Lawrence General Hospital and were able to keep her alive. However, the victim suffered two seizures and medical professionals had to revive her both times. Fentanyl is a highly potent painkiller which is frequently mixed with other opioids such as heroin, responsible for hundreds of deaths attributed to the opioid crisis the country is facing at the moment.
An investigation has been launched by the Essex County district attorney’s office, Methuen police department, and the Department of Children and Families (DCF). As of Tuesday, January 3rd, the mother has not been charged with any crime. Moreover, the baby has been released into the care of the mother’s sister after undergoing treatment at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. At the moment, the Department of Children and Families have legal custody of the baby.
The mother’s medical records show that she is a former drug addict. However, Michael Quinn, an attorney and neighbor acting as the Methuen’s family spokesman said that even though the mother struggled with drug abuse in the past, she joined a methadone program before the baby was born and is clean ever since. He also added that the 10-month-old baby is recovering well and out of any dangers.
Furthermore, he added that the mother, whose name remains undisclosed, was living with her parent at the time of the incident and was doing so since before she delivered her daughter. No one knows for sure how the baby came into contact with fentanyl. In order to prove she has not relapsed, the mother is willing to subject herself to any tests.
“The mother will submit herself to anything and everything it takes to get her child back”, says Michael Quinn.
Authorities expect to find some answers when the investigation concludes.
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