APPEAL FROM THE GARLAND COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. No. JV-2014-47. HONORABLE VICKI SHAW COOK, JUDGE.
Suzanne Ritter Lumpkin, Arkansas Public Defender Commission, Dependency-Neglect Appellate Division, for appellant.
Tabitha Baertels McNulty, Office of Policy and Legal Services, for appellee.
Chrestman Group, PLLC, by: Keith Chrestman, attorney ad litem for minor child.
LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge. GLOVER and WOOD, JJ., agree.
LARRY D. VAUGHT, Judge
Appellants, Heather Callison and Joseph Davidson, appeal from the order entered on April 2, 2014, by the Garland County Circuit Court, adjudicating their daughter, ED (d/o/b July 16, 2012), dependent-neglected and finding the existence of aggravated circumstances. Appellants concede the dependency-neglect finding. Their sole challenge on appeal is that there is insufficient evidence to support the trial court's finding of aggravated circumstances. We affirm.
The relevant evidence presented at the adjudication hearing revealed that on January 9, 2014, the Department of Human Services (DHS) exercised a seventy-two-hour hold on ED after an incident that had occurred earlier that day. Davidson left ED, who was approximately eighteen months old, in the care of Callison for about thirty minutes while he ran an errand. When he returned, Callison ran into the yard with an unresponsive ED in her
arms. Callison told Davidson that ED had fallen off the couch. Davidson administered CPR and called 911. Meanwhile, Callison attacked the family dog, whom she blamed for the child's condition.
ED was taken to the emergency room in Hot Springs for treatment. There, she was intubated on a ventilator for respiratory support. Also, drug testing on ED indicated the presence of methadone and benzodiazepines. ED was transferred that same day to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, where she was treated by pediatrician Dr. Karen Farst. Dr. Farst testified that ED's altered level of consciousness and breathing distress raised concern that she had been exposed to or ingested a drug. Subsequent drug testing of ED at Children's Hospital did not confirm the presence of methadone;  however, it did confirm the presence of tramadol, one of Callison's prescribed pain medications. Dr. Farst testified that the consumption of too much tramadol can cause respiratory depression and coma. She further testified that
the event that [ED] suffered was a life-threatening event. She had to have . . . help with her breathing because she was so impaired from what had happened. So without medical care she could . . . have actually either had some permanent brain damage from lack of oxygen or even died from this. And so . . . it was a very severe situation. And . . . my biggest concern, really, was for her . . . ongoing safety if she . . . stayed in an environment where this type of thing could happen to her.
Judy Jenson, the Department of Children and Family Services Investigator, testified that based on her investigation, the allegations of failure to protect, inadequate supervision, and medical neglect were true. She said that her investigation revealed that Davidson was aware that Callison suffered from untreated mental-health issues (bipolar disorder and schizophrenia); she had been acting erratically for the last six weeks; she left her medicine on the floor, within ED's reach, and ...