Parents say negligent staff broke baby's leg at children's hospital
AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) -- Aurora Police are investigating a possible case of child abuse at Children's Hospital Colorado after the parents of a one-month old filed a report August 11. When asked if he felt his son was a victim of child abuse at Children's Hospital Colorado, the boy's father, Larry Sims, responded, "I do, I definitely do."
Larry and Britanie Sims say their baby son Eddielee has never lived outside a hospital and they suspect a hospital worker must've caused the spiral fracture that an X-ray found in their baby's right leg.
"They're (hospital staff) the only people who have contact with him when we're not there," said Britanie. Her husband, Larry Sims, added, "Even if it was an accident, they could have reported it."
Eddielee Sims was born July 15 in Billings, Montana but air-lifted to Children's Hospital Colorado on July 17 because of a torn bowel that required special surgery.
It's standard procedure for admitting hospitals to examine a new patient and review medical records.
The Sims said there was no mention of a spiral fracture when they arrived at Children's Hospital and their son's leg appeared fine. But in early August the couple says they noticed something that did concern them.
"There was a bruise on his leg and then my husband had noticed that there was something wrong with it, because he wasn`t really moving it," said Britanie Sims.
"They had several doctors come in to look at his leg, (they said) 'it`s fine, it`s OK.' Well I noticed every time he touched it, he started shaking. To me that means there`s pain, some discomfort and I feel like they ignored my wife, they ignored me," said a frustrated Larry Sims.
Just a few days before the Sims noticed their son's leg swelling they said they asked the hospital to no longer allow a particular nurse to treat Eddielee because they felt she was too rough with him.
A few days later the Sims also asked a certain doctor to be removed from the care team because of what the couple called "communication issues."
Then on August 8 Larry Sims said the hospital imposed a 'behavioral contract' on him, warning he could be banned if he became belligerent with staff. Larry Sims and his wife believe the behavior contract was retaliation for his demands for doctors to treat his son's injured leg.
"You guys (doctors) can't see this? His leg is swelling and you're not going to do anything about it? So yes I did get upset," Sims said. He insisted he never swore at staff or became belligerent but did want answers he felt he wasn't getting.
Three days later, on August 11, doctors finally did get an X-ray which confirmed a broken leg.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers obtained the radiologist's report which notes "Fractures, raising concern for non-accidental trauma."
"It was a spiral fracture. Somebody manipulated his bone, twisted his leg," Larry Sims said.
His wife Britanie added, "They (hospital staff) said they didn`t know how it happened, that they would look into it."
That's when the parents called Aurora Police to investigate and hired attorney James Avery, who has already filed a notice of intent to sue the hospital.
"Obviously there`s egg on their face but there`s more to it than that, we need to know what happened," said Avery.
His complaint demands the hospital not destroy evidence "specifically recordings of video surveillance."
Children's Hospital wouldn't talk to the Problem Solvers on camera but in a statement said, "Children`s Hospital Colorado is committed to providing the best care possible to our patients and families. Out of respect of the HIPAA privacy laws and patient confidentiality, we are not authorized to share specific patient information."
Larry and Britanie Sims were willing to sign a HIPPA waiver but a spokeswoman for Children's Hospital Colorado said the hospital still wouldn't comment on how the baby's leg might've become broken or why a behavioral contract was imposed on Larry Sims.
"I think it`s outrageous. Parents, if anyone, ought to have a voice for their child. They are the voice for their child," said attorney James Avery while criticizing the behavioral contract.
Larry Sims described it this way, "Like I was spit in my face for trying to stand up for my child when no one else was except for my wife."