The parents of 3-month-old Emma Jo Martin say their daughter was “perfectly healthy” when they dropped her off at day care on the morning of June 19. However, around lunchtime that afternoon, her life took a mysterious and fatal turn.
In an interview with KHON2 News, Connie Martin, the child's mother, said she received a phone call from one of the day care employees (whom she refers to as a "babysitter"), advising her that the baby was suffering from shallow breathing and had been taken to the hospital.
Martin, while crying, went on to describe what happened after arriving on the scene to comfort her baby:
"When I held my baby's hand, when I got there, it was too late," she told the news outlet. "She was cold already. They tried, there was no pulse, nothing."
According to a spokesperson for the Hawaii Department of Human Services who was interviewed, employees of licensed day care facilities are trained to learn proper lifesaving techniques. The day care that Emma Jo was attending (which was not named), however, was unlicensed.
Licensed or not, the parents of Emma Jo are shocked and horrified that the day care employee did not contact 911 the second she realized the child was in danger.
"If she just called the ambulance right then, could they have just beeped her back to life and we wouldn't even have this conversation? We don't know because they didn't do anything for 45 minutes," James Martin, the baby's father, said.
“You didn't give the baby a chance to have a future,” Connie added. “You didn't give me a chance to have a future with my child."
Though the sitter has not been accused of any crime, Honolulu police are still investigating.
This is a heartbreaking reminder of why it’s so important for parents to do their homework before trusting anyone—babysitter or day care facility—to watch over their kids. If you’re in the market, be sure to get referrals first and make sure that whomever you hire is licensed and trained to act responsibly in case of emergency.