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Baby Aiden Stein Back In Hospital With Pneumonia
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 6, 2004

AKRON, OHIO--Aiden Stein is getting better, or getting worse, depending on who is asked.

The nine-month-old, who has been in a coma for the last five months, was transferred last Sunday back to Akron Children's Hospital from a Cleveland-area nursing home where he had been since July 20. Doctors returned Aiden to the hospital because he had developed pneumonia and his lungs had collapsed. They placed him on a high-powered ventilator that can only be operated within a hospital.

A spokeswoman at Akron Children's Hospital said Friday afternoon that nine-month-old Aiden's condition was improving, but that his long-term prognosis was not good.

A child services official told the Associated Press that Aiden's blood pressure is erratic, and that he will likely die before the Ohio Supreme Court can rule on whether the hospital can pull his life support.

Ellen Kaforey, the guardian who has supported the doctors' wishes to disconnect the ventilator and let Aiden die, said "it will just be a matter of time now."

On the other hand, the attorney for Aiden's parents, Matthew Stein and Arica Heimlich, said the child is improving and that all of his vital signs were good.

Aiden was taken to the hospital on March 15 with a brain injury which doctors said is consistent with shaken-baby syndrome. They contend that the child is blind, deaf and is unaware of his surroundings. He does not breathe on his own and would die quickly if taken off the ventilator.

Suspicion immediately fell on Mr. Stein, who was with Aiden the morning he was admitted to the hospital. He denies the allegations, and has not yet been charged with a crime.

Aiden's parents want their son kept alive. They have accused the hospital staff of discriminating against the boy -- marking him as a "hopeless case" -- because of his disabilities.

The hospital convinced a local court to appoint the guardian, arguing that Mr. Stein wants his son kept alive because he could face murder charges if the boy does not survive. The guardian agreed with the doctors that removing life support was in Aiden's best interest.

Hospital workers were within one hour of disconnecting Aiden's ventilator last month, when the state Supreme Court ordered him to be kept on the ventilator until they decide whether to hear an appeal from his parents.

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