An aunt adopts a baby after suffering from severe physical trauma from her biological parents. The parents of the seven-month-old allegedly abused him to the point that he needed to be hospitalized.
Michelle Harris Templeton was legally adopted by her aunt when she was just three days old. Her mother could not raise her during that time. Now, she became an adoptive parent herself.
Suffered severe injuries
The 31-year-old told PEOPLE that her nephew had suffered severe physical trauma from his parents. She believes that she could raise her nephew, named Carter, just like how her aunt raised her.
Templeton's mom told her early last month that her nephew got airlifted to UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh because he had temporarily stopped breathing. Later on, the destination wedding photography and videography owner learned that the child also suffered multiple leg fractures after allegedly falling off the couch.
When Templeton heard of the fallen reason, she was in disbelief because her two daughters also fell off things but never fractured. So when she heard about the multiple fractures, she knew she had to do something.
Carter had the most challenging time when he got hooked up to a ventilator in the ICU. He also had to be under an EEG machine to monitor seizures from a brain injury. Apart from that, the little boy was even wearing leg casts.
Doctors also told Templeton that Carter could not see because of the retinal hemorrhage in his right eye. They told the loving aunt that what could cause that was either abuse or a car accident. Templeton knows that the little boy was not in a car accident.
Thankfully, Templeton got Carter's biological parents, Andre Sheffey and Savannah Grove, to grant her child physical custody. The couple faces charges in connection to their son's condition.
Templeton saw the baby in the machines after getting the paperwork and thought to herself that she had to do everything to care for Carter. She explained that she could not see the little boy going with anybody else.
️️️ Posted by Michelle Harris Templeton on Friday, December 18, 2020
The adoptive aunt drove miles and spent many nights in the ICU to care for Carter. She even went to court three times to fight for the custody of her nephew. Thanks to an "incredible judge," Templeton won over after she tried to keep herself from slashing her anger towards her brother, who was Carter's dad.
Finally went home
Earlier this month, Carter got released from the hospital and was able to go home with Templeton. According to NBC affiliate WJAC, Sheffey, 33, faces charges with aggravated assault and endangering children's lives. On the other hand, Grove, 34, faces charges with obstruction and risking children's lives.
Although he is already free from the leg cast, Carter is still recovering from his injuries. The seven-month-old even could not see, needed to take seizure medication, and has a gastrostomy tube in his stomach.
Templeton and her husband, Nathan, had set up a Target registry for Carter. They are ready to face any struggles to help the boy get through them.
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