A New Mexico mother and father are facing child abuse charges over their alleged failure to provide their 1-year-old son with medication and take him to follow-up appointments after a liver transplant, according to a report.
Kyla and Jason Witterman were arrested Monday in their San Juana County home, Albuquerque’s KOAT-TV reported.
Court documents cited by the station accuse the parents of not giving their son medication after his April 2018 liver transplant. Maria Sanders, an educator with New Mexico Donor Services, said medication after transplant surgery is vital so that the body doesn’t reject it as a foreign organ.
“They need to continue taking anti-rejection medication, and the anti-medications keeps your body, the person who receives the transplant, from rejecting that valuable organ that was transplanted to them,” she said.
The boy’s doctors reportedly alerted authorities after his parents allegedly began missing appointments. Police contacted New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department after checking in on the family, KOAT-TV reported.
The 1-year-old boy and his 13-year-old brother are in state custody and staying with a family member, according to the San Juan District Attorney’s Office. The boy’s identity was not released.