The father of the Guatemalan child who died in a U.S. government holding facility on Christmas Day denied further medical treatment from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agents after the child vomited following an initial examination from doctors, a spokesman from the Department of Homeland security said on a call to reporters Wednesday.
Government officials provided further details, including the startling disclosure of the father’s behavior, regarding the timeline of the child’s deteriorating condition. According to officials, the eight-year-old boy, who has not been named, was given multiple medical examinations by doctors before being released with prescription medications.
Following the child’s first discharge from the hospital, both he and the father were put into a temporary holding facility where agents were aware of the child’s illness and provided the child with his medication. A few hours after the father and boy entered the facility, the child complained of being nauseous and later vomited.
It was at this point that the father declined further medical treatment for his son and told officials that he “had been feeling better,” an official said.
During a subsequent welfare check, agents at the facility noticed the child’s condition and transported him to the hospital. The child later lost consciousness during transit and shortly after was declared dead.
Government officials did not comment on why exactly they think the father denied further treatment for his child, despite him exhibiting more severe symptoms.
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