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Baby's skull fracture now in question

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:05 PM

The attorney representing parents Sara Huizenga and Steven Wagasky of Grand Haven said she hopes that means getting Huizenga’s two young girls back home as soon as possible.

That attorney, Michelle McLean, and attorneys representing the state and the children, all agreed to an adjournment of the preliminary hearing on Friday so doctors representing both sides could consult about whether the baby’s medical scan shows a skull fracture or not.

“We’re really leaving it to the experts … to determine if it’s a naturally occurring bone development or a fracture,” McLean said.

The Michigan Department of Human Services initiated a petition to remove three children from the Huizenga/Wagasky home following a Jan. 22 incident that injured the couple’s then-10-month-old daughter, Eliza.

Huizenga said she slid on icy steps outside their home while holding the child in her arms. The baby suffered a broken leg in the fall.

Wagasky took the child to a local hospital while Huizenga stayed home with her older daughters, ages 8 and 12. Local hospital officials became concerned about a possible head injury and the child was transferred to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Both hospitals notified the Department of Human Services about concerns of possible child neglect or abuse, according to testimony in two earlier stages of the preliminary hearing.

Dr. Nancy Simms, who works for the DeVos Children’s Hospital and Ottawa/Allegan Child Advocacy, testified that the baby’s leg injury was consistent with the fall described by the mother. However, Simms said the head injury could not have happened in the particular incident as described by the mother.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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