Jason Wesche says his 3-year-old daughter, Hannah, was fine before he dropped her off at her babysitter’s home Thursday morning.
Wesche told the Cincinnati Enquirer the child was acting normal, like it was any other day. But after he dropped her off at the Hanover Township, Ohio residence around 7 a.m., Hannah collapsed, according to babysitter Lindsay Partin, FOX 19 reported.
“I babysit kids. He just dropped her off and all of a sudden she just passed out,” she told a 911 dispatcher, the news station reported.
Wesche rushed back to the home and laid his daughter back on the couch, trying to get her to breathe normally, but she was gasping for air, the Enquirer reported.
“Hannah, look at daddy. Look up,” he said softly, according to a 911 call. “Breathe for daddy, breathe. Hannah, look at daddy. What’s the matter?”
Partin could be heard in the background trying to comfort the girl, the Enquirer reported.
“I love you, buttercup. You’re OK,” Partin said. “I can’t believe this is happening. I thought she was fine.”
The Butler County Sheriff’s Office says emergency crews found Hannah unresponsive with labored breathing and bruises about her head and face, the Associated Press reported.
Partin initially told authorities, and Wesche, that the girl fell while playing in the garage and hit her head on the ground, the Enquirer said.
But Partin, 35, later admitted to striking the girl, authorities said, the newspaper reported.
Hannah was airlifted to the intensive care unit at a children’s hospital in Cincinnati, WLWT 5 reported. She remains in critical condition, FOX 19 reported.
“This little girl is hanging on by a thread,” Sheriff Richard Jones said. “Cases like this rip your heart out. I don’t understand why or how anyone harms a child,” he said, WLWT 5 reported.
The father told a judge on Monday that his daughter, who’s been left brain dead, isn’t expected to survive, the AP reported.
Family members are preparing to say their goodbyes, WLWT 5 said.
Partin pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of felonious assault and felony child endangering, the AP reported. The charges will likely be upgraded if Hannah dies, the Enquirer reported.