Fact Check

Kaleb Schwade - Shaken Baby

A Tampa, Florida, infant named Kaleb Schwade is hospitalized with brain injuries.

Published Jun 8, 2007

Claim:   A Tampa, Florida, infant named Kaleb Schwade is hospitalized with brain injuries.

Status:   Outdated.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, June 2007]

This is going around on myspace....Is it true?

I write you this message in grief in faith.

My son Kaleb was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room on Wed. after we picked him up from the babysitters house. At UCH they determined that Kaleb had a SubDural Hematoma (His brain is bleeding). He then was Bayflighted (helicopter) to Tampa General Hospitals Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on a Trauma Alert.

Doctors determined that Kaleb was shaken while at the homecare he goes to. He is suffering from Shaking Baby Syndrome.

When we first arrived at the hospital they put a pressure gage into his head to moniter the Intercranial Pressure (The pressure that the brain is under due to swelling and Bleeding). He wasn't doing too well all day yesterday, his pressure in his head was ranging between 29-40 and the normal pressure is between 5-20. So doctors decided that the best thing to do was to put a tube into his brain to drain spinal fluid from his ventricle. This procedure was a sucess and brought the pressure down.

Today however, they did a Cat Scan and saw that Kaleb is now suffering from a stroke and has formed a new bleed in the brain.

I beleive in Miralcles! I believe that prayer works. I am asking you, all of my friends, whether you know me well or not to PLEASE pray for my little boy Kaleb. He needs a miracle and we need your help!

I know some of you may not believe in God... But he exists! And he's already performed one miracle. Please I ask you, I beg you, to Pray for my little boy and my family. He is my everything.


Is this true? I see A LOT of stories that are emailed around the world that are similar to this story. It's been circulating through MySpace.

Here's the story that was sent to me:

"Kristy Reynolds and her husband are parents to a beautiful little baby boy named Kaleb. He is 6 months and 3 days old. A couple weeks ago Kristy picked Kaleb up from home care and noticed something was wrong. She immediately took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with Shaken Baby Syndrome. He now has meningitis in response the the surgeries on his brain, his body can't regulate his temperature, his heart rate drops every time he is moved, and he has seizures. He is also blind. His sitter shook him so hard that he is in a coma, had to have spinal fluid drained from his brain, and doctors think that if he lives he will be a vegetable for the rest of his life. Brain scans show that his brain tissue is dying and his brain is shrinking. Kristy and her husband refuse this diagnosis and pray for their little boy. I'm asking you to join them in this prayer for Kaleb.

Her myspace is:
I went to this page and this is a beautiful baby boy!

Thank you for your prayers."

Origins:   In May 2007, Florida, newspapers reported a case of a Tampa day care worker's having been arrested on child abuse charges for allegedly having caused serious "shaken baby" injuries to an infant left in her care:

Investigators say it's another case of shaken baby syndrome, and the accused says she's a scapegoat.

A 5-month old boy

hasn't regained consciousness in a week, and Hillsborough County deputies have arrested the day care worker accused of hurting him, sheriff’s spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Rebecca Lois Saunders, 35, faces one count of aggravated child abuse.

On the morning of May 8, the child's mother left him at Saunders' home day care center, Carter said. The baby was alert and appeared fine.

When she returned that afternoon, the baby was lethargic, breathing abnormally and appeared overly sleepy, Carter said. The mother assumed he was tired, but he never regained consciousness.

Becoming worried, the baby's parents rushed him to University Community Hospital’s emergency room, and he was flown to Tampa General Hospital, Carter said.

Doctors diagnosed the child with bilateral redness, hemorrhaging, and a subdermal hematoma, or bleeding on the brain, Carter said.

The injuries were reported May 9, Carter said. A warrant was filed and Saunders was arrested at her home.

The accused (through her attorney) maintained that she did nothing to harm the child, that she noticed something appeared to be medically wrong with the infant (i.e., his breating was "not quite right") and called it to the mother's attention, and that she was told by the mother that the child would be attended to. (The case is still under review by prosecutors.)

Since then, the daily updates posted to the MySpace page of young Kaleb Schwade's mother 21-year-old Kristy Schwade, and a dedicated HelpKaleb MySpace page have been elicting sympathy and donations from thousand of readers, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Diane Queto, a family friend, said Schwade took Kaleb to a doctor for a respiratory infection after the call from Saunders.

A day later, he was in the hospital for a brain injury.

In the weeks that followed, Schwade began using MySpace to tell what was then a small group of friends how Kaleb was doing. But, soon, total strangers were viewing her page, and by Thursday, it reflected 9, 250 "friends."

She told them the injury had blinded Kaleb. He also acquired bacterial meningitis. A noncontagious form may occur after head surgery, a Health Department epidemiologist said. Schwade told her readers that Kaleb might end up in a vegetative state, as much as she didn't want to believe it.

The injury also left him with seizures, she wrote.

On her blog, Schwade details Kaleb's medications. She tells of touching moments when he grips her hand. Sentences in capital letters punctuate her feelings, and her somber messages on Kaleb's long-term prognosis usually end with religious optimism.

She takes hospital bedside pictures of Kaleb and updates them often on her page, writing little captions beneath: "The site where the tube was." "The 2nd day in ICU." "You can see that his eyes are open a little bit."

Readers have posted more than 1, 300 comments on the photos. The most popular one, which has drawn about 500 posts, is a closeup of Kaleb with a breathing tube and heart monitor.

"So precious and innocent, " wrote one reader. "I just don't understand."

A "Prayers for Kaleb" discussion group has also been established on the CafeMom web site.

On 25 January 2011, Kaleb's mother posted news of her son's passing to her MySpace page:

Kaleb went to heaven today at 5:08pm. He is now an angel and has been given the strength to walk and run and play with the other children angels. His death was very quick and he seemed very comfortable. I cannot express the gratitude for all of you and your support throughout the years. We find peace knowing that Kaleb is in heaven with Jesus and feels no pain.

Thank You

The Schwade Family

Last updated:   28 January 2011


  Sources Sources:

    George, Justin.   "Baby's Hospital Tale Grips MySpace."

    St. Petersburg Times.   8 June 2007.

    Wells, Mike.   "Woman Charged In Tot's Injury."

    The Tampa Tribune.   16 May 2007.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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