INDIANAPOLIS — Police are investigating after a mother told them she injected fecal matter into her teenage son's IV tube while he was receiving cancer treatment at a hospital.
The mother was arrested and charged with six counts of aggravated battery and one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, according to court documents.
Indianapolis police were contacted by staff at Riley Hospital for Children after a 15-year-old being treated for leukemia developed several infections that were "unexplained in origin," according to the documents.
The teen received his first round of chemotherapy and went home, but was re-admitted in early September with a fever, vomiting and diarrhea and continued to have those symptoms.
He also continued to have near-daily positive blood cultures for organisms normally found in stool, but doctors could find "no medical reason" to explain the blood infections, according to the court documents.
On Nov. 17, a nurse observing video surveillance in the teen's room noticed his mother inject an unknown substance into his IV bag. She returned and again injected a substance into the bag about an hour and a half later.
When interviewed by officers, the mother admitted to collecting her son's fecal matter and injecting it into his IV tube several times, beginning Nov. 13. She said she did it to get him moved from the intensive care unit to a different floor at the hospital, where the treatment would be better.
Investigators later found a gift bag containing a substance consistent with fecal matter on the bathroom sink in the woman's son's room.
Since his mother's removal from his bedside on Nov. 17, the teen has had no further fever. He had been in intensive care for 18 days and, due to the infections, doctors had to put his chemotherapy on hold for approximately 55 days, placing him at high risk of relapse in his leukemia, according to court documents.
All seven counts faced by the mother are felonies. She is scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference on Jan. 17, according to online court records.
Follow Holly Hays on Twitter: @hollyvhays