New Jersey nurse charged after toddler gets 3rd-degree burns from bath

Jim Dolan Image
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Nurse faces charges after baby gets third degree burns
Jim Dolan has the story from Livingston.

LIVINGSTON, N.J. (WABC) -- A young mother in New Jersey is in agony because she can do so little to help her critically burned child.

The mother of 20-month-old Destiny Abdelmalek said her daughter has third-degree burns over 20 percent of her body because the nurse hired to care for Destiny placed her in a scalding hot bath.

Then, mom Miriam Khella said, instead of calling 911 for help, she dressed Destiny in clothing that Khella had to cut off to aid her child.

"When I carried her, she screamed even more," she said. "There was no skin, I think the nurse burned my baby."

Now, Destiny is in St. Barnabas Hospital fighting for her young life. Her mother said her lungs are already compromised, because she was born premature, and doctors fear they could collapse. They wrapped her hands in gauze, not because they are burned, but because they were pulling on the tubes keeping her alive.

Khella said that all Destiny wants is to be held. "She wants me to carry her, but I can't do anything," she said.

According to the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, 30-year-old nurse Ellen Ejimkanye is charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.

Ejimkanye has been ordered to turn in her license, which the licensing board hopes she will voluntarily surrender. If she doesn't, the board is prepared to take further action.

The prosecutor's office does not believe the scalding was intentional.