IPOH, April 28 — A six-month-old boy died from head injuries here after he was allegedly abused by a 26-year-old nanny his parents met on Facebook.
Royal Malaysian Navy officer Muhammad Izzat Emir Mohd Rahim, 30, said he and his wife, Siti Norazila Onn, 32, never imagined they would lose their youngest son, Izz Harith Hafizi, when they placed him under the care of the babysitter.
Izz Harith was pulled off life support at 11.50pm on Saturday at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here as doctors were unable to treat his injuries.
He was buried in Lumut on Sunday afternoon.
Izzat told Malay Mail yesterday he decided to hire a part-time nanny about three months ago because both he and his wife had busy schedules.
“I was temporarily posted in Lahad Datu and my wife works as a bank clerk. A woman responded to our posts on social media for help (with the children). When we met her, she seemed genuine and honest, so we decided to hire her as a babysitter,” he said.
He said the baby had been injured twice during the three months he was under the babysitter’s care. On one occasion, his ears bled, and on the second occasion, he suffered a cut lip.
Both Izz Harith and his elder brother, Izz Rayyan Hakimi, aged 18 months, were placed under the nanny’s care — the older boy for less than a month.
“In both instances (when the boy was hurt), the nanny said my child had fallen. She appeared remorseful, apologised profusely and begged us not to go to the police. We did not lodge any report,” Izzat said.
It came as a shock to the couple when the babysitter told them last Wednesday that their son had been admitted to the Armed Forces Hospital at the Lumut Naval Base after suffering a convulsion.
Later that day, Izz Harith was referred to the Seri Manjung Hospital, before being transferred to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital to undergo surgery.
Izzat claimed his son had suffered a cracked skull, brain haemorrhage, swollen eyes and bleeding in the eyeballs.
“Doctors at the Seri Manjung Hospital told me the chances of my boy’s survival were slim. After the 90-minute operation in Ipoh, our worst fears were confirmed,” he said.
“The doctors in Ipoh told us they were unable to remove all the blood clots in Izz Harith’s brains and that his injuries were too critical. Finally, we decided to let him go. After reciting prayers for our son, we allowed the hospital to pull the plug.”
Throughout the time, Izzat said, the family had not suspected abuse until doctors told him the injuries were not consistent with an accident.
Manjung police said they had recorded the couple’s statements to assist the investigation into the incident under the Child Act 2001.
Malay Mail learnt the babysitter was married with a five-year child and had also been taking care of other children.