Exclusive: Mother speaks after arrest for child abuse of chronically ill son in Norfolk

Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 23:22:52-04

NORFOLK, Va. – 23 year-old Miranda Harwood is in Norfolk City Jail accused of abusing her three-year-old son .

Harwood said her son has been sick since birth.

News 3 spoke exclusively to the mother from behind bars who said she never abused her child.

Harwood said she’s accused of tampering with her son’s medical equipment while he was in in the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.

She said her son has been treated for all kinds of problems because of his genetic disorder 2q13 chromosomal deletion, including epilepsy, anemia, and short gut syndrome, plus he had trouble with bone marrow issues.

She said he had his gallbladder removed by a hospital in another state.

Harwood spent her 23rd birthday behind bars.

“All the medical decisions that I've made I felt have always been in his best interest,” said Harwood.

But police disagree and arrested her last week for incidents that they say happened over a three day period.

Police said they responded on September 9 for an ongoing CPS investigation.

They say through the course of the investigation, Harwood was arrested on October 18 for felony child abuse for incidents that occurred between September 2 and September 5.

Police said there is no further information available to release because this is an open investigation.

“I've done nothing but take care of my kids. I've been with him every single day and it's hard for me not to be with him,” said Harwood.

Harwood said she is accused her of tampering with a catheter line that is used to give her son medicine and other vital nutrients while he was at CHKD.

She said CHKD recorded the incident on surveillance video in her son’s hospital room.

Harwood claims she was touching the medical equipment but only to tighten the line not to undo it.

“In the video, it's dark and you see me touching his line. We lay back down and we snuggle and we play and then a little while later the nurse comes in, the line’s undone,” said Harwood.

Harwood's Mom Nancy Flynn said Harwood's son wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for Harwood's care and dedication.

“He wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her. She has just gotten him this far. He was smaller than his baby brother, then they were even size," said Flynn.

“I've never done anything with what they’re accusing me of doing and they're bringing up everything since he was born and every procedure, saying oh he didn't need these procedures. He didn't need this, he didn't need that but I didn't force any surgeon to do any surgery," Harwood said.

Now Harwood waits in jail and said she’s worried about her son.

“He is such a big personality… He would be in the hospital for a blood infection, he’s swollen and everything and if he sees that you're upset or you're crying or upset, he will see if you’re OK he's just that kind of a kid,” said Harwood.

CHKD says they can’t comment on any child abuse investigation they are involved in.

Doctors and nurses are required to report a suspected child abuse case to authorities.

The child's mother told News 3 that her son is currently with a foster family. She said her other son is now forced to live with relatives.

Harwood is being held in the Norfolk jail without bond and has a bond hearing Tuesday.