Parents Who Took Baby from LVH Charged With Endangering Welfare

April Saul and Daniel Rivera of Pottstown face criminal charges after allegedly taking their seriously ill daughter from Lehigh Valley Hospital without permission, according to the Lehigh County District Attorney's office.


The parents of a seriously ill infant were charged Wednesday with endangering the welfare of a child for removing their daughter from Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest against medical advice in October, according to the Lehigh County District Attorney's office.

April Saul, 42, and Daniel Rivera, 43, of 319 Chestnut St., Apt. 2, Pottstown, were also charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly using obscene language in the pediatric intensive care unit of LVH and engaging in “tumultuous behavior in view of extremely ill children, family and medical persons,” according to a prepared release.

Salisbury Township police were called to the hospital Oct. 23 to investigate a report of a baby abduction.

The charges were filed after an investigation by Lehigh County Det. Kevin Smith, who investigates allegations of child abuse, and Salisbury Township police.

The baby currently is in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Lehigh Valley Hospital arranged for the baby’s transfer to CHOP.

The defendants were arraigned today (Dec. 5 by) District Judge David Harding of Coopersburg. Bail was set at $10,000 unsecured for each defendant. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14 before District Judge Michael Pochron.

According to the release, the arrest affidavit states:

* Saul and Rivera's daughter was born prematurely July 18, 2012 and had "serious medical issues." She was in Lehigh Valley Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

* Because of the baby’s condition, her heartbeat, breathing and temperature had to be continually monitored. The baby needed to remain in the NICU until she met minimum requirements set by medical personnel for discharge from the unit and hospital.

* The parents were required to attend educational instruction on the special care that the baby would need outside of a hospital setting.

* When the parents removed their daughter from the hospital, they had not yet met the minimum requirements for her discharge and the medical requirements for the baby's discharge had not yet been met.

* The parents removed the infant from monitoring equipment and her crib on Oct. 23 without medical training or permission. They tried to leave the NICU. When questioned by medical personnel, they yelled loudly and used obscene language in the common area of the NICU. Nursing staff repeatedly asked the parents not to remove the baby from the unit because the baby’s health could be endangered.

* The attending physician also asked the parents not to remove the baby, and the parents continued to yell, use obscene language and insist that they were leaving the unit. 

* The parents took the baby from the hospital against medical advice and said they wanted to take the baby to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

* Police stopped Saul and Rivera, who had the baby with them, in a vehicle at Seventh and Hamilton streets in Allentown.

* When the baby was returned to the hospital, she had a temperature of 96.5 degrees, which medical personnel said was life-threatening because of her medical condition.

Arrests do not indicate conviction.

Ben Miller December 07, 2012 at 05:48 AM
A little bitter, Nora? I have four children and each of them were born at LVH Cedar Crest. It's a great hospital with a tremendous staff. It's not just people in the Lehigh Valley who thinks that either. The hospital is ranked among the top hospitals in the state and the nation.
Ben Miller December 07, 2012 at 05:49 AM
God bless, Nicole. I wish you a speedy recovery from your own battle with cancer.
april saul December 12, 2012 at 07:51 PM
The baby is disabled so SSI or medicaid covers her insurance.Any baby has the right at a chance at life regardless of what type of health coverage they have.
april saul December 12, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Why do people with no brains post comments on social medias?You know nothing about our situation to post a stupid one-liner like that.Did you read BETWEEN the lines with the biased media article?Do you have kids?What parent wouldn't fight to the to save their child's life?Good thing we fought to get our baby to CHOP because she needs open heart surgery NOW.Have you come to realize how much the government is CONTROLLING us?Hospitals also post a Patient Bill of Rights in which you have the right to refuse treatment.As a parent...darned if you do darned if you don't.Slack off and you neglect you child.Fight for them and still be condemned.So, before you go saying something ridiculous miss snow white, put yourself in somebody else's shoes.And if you don't have kids, shame on you for opening your mouth at all.
april saul December 12, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Ben Miller: We didn't almost kill our baby.We NEVER wouldve conducted ourselves disorderly or threatening.You read a biased one sided story all twisted up full of lies.Also,the baby WAS and IS in our custody.So please get that straight.Just because you read something in the media or online does not mean its true Mr. Miller! It is a good thing that family court saw things our way and we got our baby to CHOP because the baby needs open heart surgery THIS WEEK!There is a whole lot of politics involved here and I must watch what I comment on at this time.I am glad you realize that hospitals cannot require you to receive treatment or stay at the hospital.


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