• New Mexico parents accused of failing to care for child after liver transplant

    By: Ann Smajstrla, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    FARMINGTON, N.M. -

    A New Mexico couple have been arrested after a doctor reported them for allegedly not providing adequate care to their child after he received a liver transplant.

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    Kyla and Jason Witterman were arrested Monday and charged with child abuse, KOAT-TV reported.

    The couple's 1-year-old son received a liver transplant in April 2018. The parents, however, failed to take him to many of his subsequent doctor's appointments and didn't give him essential medication, according to court documents.

    "They are basically sentencing themselves to death," said Maria Sanders, an educator with New Mexico Donor Services. "They need to continue taking anti-rejection medication, and the anti-rejection medications keeps your body, the person who receives the transplant, from rejecting that valuable organ that was transplanted to them."

    The boy's doctor reportedly called police when his parents allegedly began missing appointments. After that, the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department became involved.

    The 1-year-old and his 13-year-old brother are currently staying with another family member and are in good health, the San Juan District Attorney's Office told KOAT-TV.

    There are currently 84 infants in the U.S. who are waiting for a liver transplant.

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