Baby Michael Carter Donnell was just getting big enough to start rolling over in his crib, his parents say.
But what did that have to do with his sudden death this week at a daycare facility in San Antonio?
Though he was pronounced dead Monday at Children’s Methodist Hospital, official autopsy results from the Bexar County Medical Examiner might still be days or weeks away, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Richard Donnell and Gabriella Garcia, the boy’s parents, told WOAI that they know how it happened, and they warned daycare workers about a new development with the boy they called Carter.
“We got a phone call around 1 [p.m.] saying our son was unresponsive,” Donnell told the station. “He just started rolling over, and every time he’s on his stomach, he throws up a little bit. We let them know that, you know, ‘Don’t let him be on his stomach,’ and that’s exactly what happened.”
Police told KENS that daycare workers at Our Little Hopes and Dreams Christian Learning Center on Callaghan Road tried to perform CPR on Carter before he was taken to the hospital, but the boy did not respond.
“We are devastated, and are praying for the family,” Carmel Puente, the daycare facility’s director, told the station. She declined to comment further to the Express-News, citing the ongoing police investigation.
Child Protective Services officials are also involved in the investigation. No criminal charges have been filed.
The parents put Carter and his 4-year-old brother in daycare at Our Little Hopes and Dreams, Donnell told WOAI.
Garcia told the Express-News she wants her baby’s death to be a springboard for a state law in her son’s memory — one that would require daycare facilities to monitor children — and especially infants — with security cameras in every room.
“This is day 3 of my nightmare,” Donnell wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “I miss my little man so much.”
According to state records with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, Our Little Hopes and Dreams was licensed as a childcare facility in 2015, and since then has been cited 23 times for “deficiencies.”
Family members have started a GoFundMe campaign for the boy’s funeral expenses. As of Saturday afternoon, it had raised more than $3,300 of its $5,000 goal.
Carter’s funeral will be held Sunday in San Antonio. The family is asking those who attend to wear green, the color of Carter’s eyes.