Two-Week-Old Baby Dies After Being Shaken, Squeezed, And Twisted
"No part of his brain was spared injury. These were devastating, severe and irreversible injuries incompatible with survival due to some episode where the brain was deprived of blood and oxygen supply."
Fathers are usually overprotective of their children. They don’t want any harm to come to their kids and they will move heaven and earth just to make sure that their kids are always safe.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case for 13-day-old Joshua Millinson.
Shaken, squeezed, and twisted before he died
During a court hearing, Baby Joshua was said to have been shaken, squeezed, and twisted by his own father, Daniel Sanzone, 23. The attack left Joshua with what medical experts describe as one of the most extreme brain injuries that they have ever encountered.
He was also found with fractures to both of his knees and ankles as a result of his limbs being twisted.
Joshua was immediately rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was then taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit, but died after a month in the hospital. Despite their best efforts, his doctors were unable to save him.
“No part of his brain was spared injury”
According to the hospital, his brain had been starved of both blood and oxygen. They add that his “pupils became continually fixed and dilated” and that “he was just staring”.
Neuropathologist Daniel Du Plessis told the court the full extent of Joshua’s injury.
He shares, “No part of his brain was spared injury. These were devastating, severe and irreversible injuries incompatible with survival due to some episode where the brain was deprived of blood and oxygen supply.”
“If you look at the whole picture he stopped breathing and his heart stopped because of a traumatic injury on the brain and spine which led to a cardiac arrest which led to brain damage.”
His father denies the murder
Joshua’s father, Daniel, vehemently denies the murder. However, he was alone with the child when the baby suffered a heart attack. He has been charged with murder, neglect and causing or allowing the death of a child.
The child’s mother, Zoe Howell, 19, was charged with causing or allowing her son Joshua’s death and is currently out on bail.
What is shaken baby syndrome?
Abusive head trauma, more commonly known as shaken baby syndrome, both mean the same thing: injury to a child’s brain due to child abuse.
These types of injuries can happen by hitting the child’s head, dropping or throwing the child, and shaking the child. These types of injuries can also happen to a child up to 5 years of age, but the average age of victims is between 3 and 8 months. Sadly, the highest rate of these injuries happen to babies that are only 6-8 weeks old, since that is when they cry the most.
What happens when you shake a baby?
Kidshealth.org shares what happens when you shake a baby:
“When someone forcefully shakes a baby, the child’s head rotates uncontrollably. This is because infants’ neck muscles aren’t well developed and provide little support for their heads.”
“This violent movement pitches the infant’s brain back and forth within the skull, sometimes rupturing blood vessels and nerves throughout the brain and tearing the brain tissue. The brain may strike the inside of the skull, causing bruising and bleeding to the brain.”
Keeping calm when your baby is crying
The most common reason why parents or caregivers shake babies is because they find it difficult to calm the child down. The constant crying tips them over the edge and makes them shake the baby in an attempt to stop it from crying. However, you should always be calm and exercise extra patience when taking care of your baby. Here are some helpful tips:
- Practice breathing exercises to keep you calm while taking care of your baby.
- Picture a relaxing scene in your mind and focus on that scene to help calm you down.
- Don’t feel alone, all parents know exactly how you feel and it happens to everyone. Not being able to calm your baby down doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent.
- Take a moment to relax and compose your thoughts so that you can calm yourself down.