MEMPHIS, TN (WFLA) – A 6-year-old Tennessee boy, who was born with severe developmental disabilities, was hospitalized earlier this month after he was found in deplorable conditions, weighing just 13 pounds, police said.
The boy’s mother, Andrea Caldwell now faces an aggravated child abuse charge.
A worker with the Department of Children’s Services told police she was searching for the boy since May when she learned Caldwell had failed to bring her child to 13 scheduled doctors appointments at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
When she finally found the boy living at a hotel with his family, she was left in shock.
Records show the 6-year-old was covered in bruises and bed sores. His hair was matted and he “smelled of strong urine.” His feeding tube was so dirty it became clogged, causing him to drop nearly 30 pounds since March, bringing his weight down to just 13 pounds.
Caldwell’s family has denied what they’re calling harsh allegations against the mother, claiming doctors said nothing was wrong with the boy.
“We had him at Le Bonheur in November, saying that he could not keep his food and stuff down. They told us to keep doing what we were doing,” a family member told WMC-TV. However, the family admits Caldwell skipped a few appointments after losing their car.
“I know she’s missed a few but I don’t think it was thirteen.”
The child and his 4-year-old brother are now in state custody, while Caldwell is behind bars.