RICHMOND, Va. -- For the first time in more than two years, the mother of a disabled teen has an image of how her son presumably suffered after he was intentionally burned by a staff member at a New Kent children’s hospital.
“My son was whimpering for almost 15 minutes,” Jackson Haddon’s mother Shannon said.
That is just one of the many revelations Shannon Haddon is coming to terms with about her son Jackson’s assault inside Cumberland Hospital.
In an October plea deal, former behavior technician Stacey Burrell was convicted on a felony wounding charge after a series of CBS 6 Problem Solvers reports shed light on allegations against her caring for the non-verbal child in September 2019 and the alleged cover-up to follow at the hospital at the center of a Virginia State Police investigation.
The CBS 6 Problem Solvers obtained a copy of a report that the Attorney General’s office presented to the New Kent County Circuit court about the night of September 14, 2019, and the evidence the AG would have presented had Haddon's case gone to trial.
“There were a few things in there that really, it killed me reading," Haddon said. "From where he was pretty much physically restrained and tossed into a room by two grown people. After he was hurt, you know, Stacey knew he was hurt and they still pretty much manhandled him."
The AG said that happened after Burrell poured scalding water on Jackson after she and another behavior technician had difficulty getting him to bed.
The report stated, “Following the injury in the bathroom, the defendant and another behavioral technician on the unit physically restrained the victim and tossed him into his room.”
It said a “frustrated” Burrell was seen on surveillance video entering the kitchen. It’s there, the AG believed, she warmed the water.
She’s was seen carrying two cups of liquid while instructing Jackson to go to the bathroom.
The pair was in there for one minute and 23 seconds before Jackson left the bathroom in “an obvious state of agitation and no longer wearing a shirt.”
It goes on to state that eyewitnesses described a struggle between Burrell and Jackson.
Camera footage showed Jackson’s skin was reddened, and that Burrell left the room without the cups with which she entered.
“When the prosecutor from the Attorney General's office told me that the reason why she was getting a plea, because there is no actual video of her burning him, that's a slap in the face. My son did not burn himself. So do better,” said Haddon.
According to the AG report, “The victim whimpered in his room for about 12 minutes before the defendant checked to see how the victim was doing. The defendant then entered the room and shortly thereafter reported to the nurses’ station that the victim had a rash and needed cream. The charge nurse and nursing supervisor then evaluated the victim and determined that the injury was not a rash and was in fact a 2nd-degree burn.”
“I'm supposed to be able to protect my son and I couldn't. They were supposed to help him, and they hurt him,” said Haddon.
The AG report stated as the hospital began investigating the incident on September 15, 2019, “it became clear the defendant was unable or unwilling to tell the truth.”
“I've always wondered, you know, what was going through Jackson's mind that night, you know, now I have a picture of what happened,” said Haddon. “It wasn't easy to digest, and it makes me sick to my stomach.”
As the CBS 6 Problem Solvers reported last August, Haddon said she was not informed of the intentional burn until one month after the incident.
The document stated, “Initial statements by the defendant to the hospital personnel were that she was attempting to shower the victim and believed that the burn must have occurred due to a malfunctioning shower. Interviews with hospital staff determined that the victim had already had his evening shower around approximately 6:30 that evening and would not normally get another shower after that. In addition, the water system at the hospital has a failsafe safety system that ensures that the water shuts off if it reaches 125 degrees.”
“When questioned further the defendant stated that she attempted to shower the victim because he soiled himself and that’s how the injury occurred. However, via surveillance footage, the victim is seen with his same underwear and shorts following the injury in the shower and after being seen by other staff there were no hospital notes indicating that he soiled himself or remained in need of a shower.”
“In a subsequent written statement to the hospital the defendant stated that the victim needed to use the restroom, so Ms. Burrell got cups of juice for him as a reward. In the bathroom the victim then refused to use the toilet, so she attempted to gain compliance with the juice. She stated the victim drank both cups and then ran out of the bathroom and she had no idea how this injury occurred. “
“I really do feel that not only did Cumberland fail Jackson, not only did Stacey Burrell fail Jackson, but all the employees working that night on that unit and the Attorney General's office, they all failed Jackson,” said Haddon.
“What would your message be to the judge who holds Stacey Burrell's future in his hands?” Problem Solver Laura French asked.
“My child was defenseless, pretty much and the least that you could do is make sure she does receive some type of punishment for her actions because if you don't, this just sends out a message to all the other employees at Cumberland that they could get away with what you're doing to these kids that cannot speak. And I believe that's the only way there will be any real change at that place,” Haddon said.
Burrell will be sentenced on December 20. She faces up to five years in jail. Haddon will be providing a victim impact statement to the court on behalf of her son.
As the CBS 6 Problem Solvers have been reporting since last February, the hospital has been under criminal investigation by the Virginia State Police for child abuse and neglect since October 17, 2017.
Since then, two employees, including Burrell, were criminally indicted.
A former psychotherapist died by suicide on the day he was expected to plead guilty to a sex crime.
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org to send a tip.