A Virginia mother said she poisoned her 5-year-old son with her own blood while he was in the hospital, because she wanted hospital staff to give him more attention, according to NBC Washington.
Elizabeth Malone, 29, was captured on a surveillance camera in the hospital room using a syringe to inject her blood into her disabled son’s nose and mouth.
Malone, a mother of three, pleaded guilty to child abuse on March 13.
“She denies any intention to harm her child,” her attorney told the judge. “She loves her child like any mother.”
Elizabeth Malone of Fairfax County pleaded guilty to child abuse Wednesday.
Malone’s son was hospitalized at Virginia’s Inova Fairfax Hospital in April 2018 after she reported him bleeding from his mouth and his tracheostomy tube, according to Daily Mail.
The mother allegedly disagreed with his treatment at the hospital and began injecting her son, who cannot talk due to his disability, because she liked the way staff responded to him once he was bleeding.
That same month, a surveillance camera was installed in the boy’s room after a nurse found a syringe hidden in his mother’s sleeve and a bloody napkin in the bathroom.
Malone initially denied poisoning her son during police questioning, but admitted to it after police told her she had been caught on video. She was arrested on April 25.
“I don’t want to intentionally cause him harm,” she said through tears, according to NBC Washington. “I know I did, I know I did. Punish me but please let me see my children again.”
The video shows Malone injecting blood into her son’s tracheostomy tube and central IV line as he laid in the hospital bed. She allegedly brought a bag of her own blood to the hospital and put it into a syringe, Daily Mail reported.
The prosecution said the injections caused the child to have infections and high fevers. The child could have died had he not been treated properly, doctors said.
Since his mothers arrest, the boy’s condition has significantly improved and he’s now attending school, according to the prosecution.
Malone will be sentenced in July.
Mother Poisons Son for Attention
In 2015, a New York woman was found guilty of also poisoning her hospitalized 5-year-old son for attention, killing him.
Lacey Spears, now 30, poisoned her son with table salt, which she had administered to him since he was a baby through his feeding tube, according to investigators.
Spears took her son to a hospital in Jan. 2014, telling doctors he was having seizures. Later that afternoon, Garnett-Paul’s sodium levels spiked mysteriously from 138 to 182—a deadly amount that ultimately caused his brain to swell. His mother was in the hospital room with him, ABC News reported. He was then airlifted to Westchester County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead days later on life-support.
“This mother was intentionally feeding her child salt at toxic levels,” prosecutor Doreen Lloyd said in court, according to ABC. “This defendant researched, planned and executed her crime against her own son in a wanton and depraved manner.”
Spears had been medically abusing her son throughout his short life and had chronicled his numerous mysterious illnesses and unnecessary surgeries on her personal blog and social media to get attention, investigators said.
The child was in-and-out of the hospital the first few weeks of his life and had a feeding tube inserted in his stomach when he was 9 months old because he had trouble gaining weight, though doctors couldn’t figure out why.
“My sweet angel is in the hospital for the 23rd time,” Spears posted on Twitter in 2009 when the boy was only 1 year old. “Please pray he gets to come home soon,” she wrote.
My Sweet Angel Is In The Hospital For The 23rd Time 🙁 Please Pray He Gets To Come Home Soon…
— Lacey E Spears (@GarnettsMommy) November 11, 2009
Spears had also fabricated the identity of her son’s father, saying he was a police officer named Blake who died in a car accident.
Spears has Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disorder in which a parent purposefully makes a child sick for attention, authorities said, according to ABC.
She was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.