Ryker James LaRoy McEvers was born 14 weeks early, weighing only 1 pound, and is something of a miracle. He has survived stays in two different hospitals over a four month span where he underwent a number of different surgical procedures, including heart surgery, and was finally released on February 6th to go home with his mom. This little baby had a rough start in life, but he was welcomed into a very loving family.
But that was a short-lived joy for both of them. Ryker was hardly able to settle in, before CPS workers took him away and placed him in foster care because his mother, 22-year-old Dannielle McEvers, is allegedly unable to care for him. Or so they say. But why? What makes her an unfit mother? As it turns out, her health.
After Ryker had finally been released from the hospital, his grandmother became concerned about the tiny boy. She later explained that his heartbeat was slowing down and his color was changing. She and her daughter, Dannielle, called 911 and Ryker was hospitalized again.
Ryker was airlifted to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor from MidMichigan Medical Center in Clare County, with his mother following behind. A day later she returned home to get some rest, intending to join her baby in the hospital again in a day or two. But that wasn’t going to happen.
The very next morning CPS workers showed up on the family’s doorstep with a court order that allowed them to remove Ryker from his mother’s care and place him with a foster family. The reason they gave was concern about Dannielle’s ability to care for her son based on her own health.
According to the report, Dannielle was seen by medical personnel snoring loudly while at the hospital, and having difficulty breathing, which is usually an indication of apnea. Her lips were also allegedly noted to be dusky in color, which could be an indicator of loss of oxygen due to potential breathing complications.
The report also said that she slept through a number of different alarms and monitors, and medical staff couldn’t wake her up when she was needed to care for her baby. She was even said to have fallen asleep right in the middle of a conversation. Another factor mentioned in the report was the fact that she had been diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar disorder some years before, but was not taking any medication or receiving any counseling for the disorder.
According to Dannielle, it has been years since she struggled with any symptoms of bipolar disorder, so why should she have to medicate for it? She also denies having apnea. But like any good mom, she is willing to do whatever it takes to get her baby back. And so she has agreed to submit to a psychological examination and undergo a sleep study in order to work towards getting her son back.
But until then, she and her mother and brother will have to wait at home, with their empty stroller, car seat, crib and bouncy chair. Until the state decides to give a mother back her own child.