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Family: Toddler ‘went without oxygen for 20 minutes’ at Louisville childcare center; death investigation underway

The employee in charge of caring for the child at Kayfield left the country in December and hasn’t returned, according to a statement made through the family’s lawyers
According to the family, a 13-month-old died on Jan. 7 at Norton Children’s Hospital after...
According to the family, a 13-month-old died on Jan. 7 at Norton Children’s Hospital after becoming unresponsive late in the afternoon on Dec. 16 at Kayfield Academy II, despite having no pre-existing medical conditions.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 12:20 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 12:43 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The parents of a 13-month-old child who died after becoming unresponsive at Kayfield Academy II in December revealed what they know about their daughter’s death and the ongoing investigation at the childcare center.

It was first reported last week that Kayfield Academy II was temporarily shut down due to a child death investigation. The school re-opened after the temporary closure on Jan. 24.

According to the family, the 13-month-old died on Jan. 7 at Norton Children’s Hospital after becoming unresponsive late in the afternoon on Dec. 16 at Kayfield Academy II, despite having no pre-existing medical conditions. The doctors treating her believe she went without oxygen for over 20 minutes before being rushed to the hospital, where she remained on life support until her death.

“To be clear, the family … did not initiate any media contact and had no role in the initial reports regarding the academy or the loss of their daughter,” the child’s family said in a statement through their lawyers, Terry Goodspeed and Sam Aguiar. “(The child’s) parents are so appreciative of all the heroic efforts of the first responders and those at Norton Children’s Hospital, as all of them fought so hard to try and save their daughter’s life.”

The employee who was in charge of caring for the toddler at Kayfield left the country in late December, according to the family’s statement, and has not returned.

The family’s lawyers claim there was “a substantial amount of misinformation” given by school officials regarding what happened prior to the child being rushed to the hospital. According to records, Kayfield employees told emergency responders that the girl was found unconscious while she was taking a nap. However, records also show EMS was called more than two hours after nap time ended, and “it appears that perhaps this inaccurate information was then corrected when pressed by investigators.”

The parents also allege that school officials repeatedly assured parents, staff, and the public on social media that the girl, despite being on life support, was recovering well and was stable.

Additionally, the family’s lawyers said the school has no recording of the girl’s classroom on the day she became unresponsive.

“Kayfield II has, for years, sold itself on a promise of transparency: administrators tout that cameras are present in all rooms of the school and are always recording, thereby allowing parents to have access to their child’s classroom experience,” the family’s statement said. “Now, however, Kayfield II indicates that there is no video footage of (the child’s) classroom for the date of the incident. Specifically, the academy claims that there is no storage or footage recorded by the camera in that room. The academy did, however, promptly produce footage of (the child) in a different room where CPR was attempted.”

The Louisville Metro Police Department, Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Child Protective Services is conducting the death investigation. The family has not filed a lawsuit and asks anyone with information to speak to investigators or their lawyers.

In a statement, an attorney representing Kayfield Academy II said no one from the school is able to comment on the investigation: “Kayfield Academy and its child care facilities have served Louisville and its surrounding communities for the last twenty-five years. It is committed to delivering excellent child care services. Kayfield Academy cannot comment on any specific investigation or student for privacy and confidentiality reasons. Kayfield Academy cooperates fully with any and all regulatory and law enforcement agencies.”

WAVE has requested further information on the death investigation from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

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