Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mother pleads not guilty in death of disabled son

Sandra Greenwoood, 60, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of "neglect of a resident resulting in death and involuntary manslaughter" stemming from the death of her disabled son, Jared Greenwood, the Farmington Daily Times and KDBC-4 reports. Jared Greenwood, 26, who was autistic and mentally impaired, was found dead on the bathroom floor of the Bloomfied (New Mexico) home that he shared with his mother and sister, Journey Greenwood, on September 30, 2007. His body was covered in feces, dirt and garbage. It's been determined that he died from a blood infection that he developed from several deep, open sores that were the result of his body remaining in one position for a long time. A dose of antibiotics could have saved his life, the Daily Times reports. The state had stopped paying for Jared Greenwood’s care in March 2007 because disability paperwork had not been refiled. Sandra Greenwood still received state funding to take care of Journey, who has Downs syndrome.

How not to ask, why did this happen? Where was the help? The follow-up when the disability paperwork was not refiled? What kinds of support, if any, was this family receiving? friends? family? community? neighbours? Raising children with disabilities is not a solitary endeavour.