Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Exodus Tyson, 2004-2009. R.I.P.

Exodus Tyson, the daughter of former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, died from injuries in an accident involving a treadmill in her Phoenix home yesterday. She was only four years old.

Her father was in Las Vegas at the time of the incident. She was found by her seven year old brother who alerted his mother. She contacted authorities and attempted to revive her.

I don't wish to be disrespectful but the circumstances of this child's death beg a couple of questions. Was this child unsupervised? If so for how long? How long was this child caught in the treadmill before her brother discovered her?

Nearly a decade ago I worked for the Child At Risk Hotline, the after hours service of what was then known as the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. We took reports of child abuse and neglect and dispatched response workers where children were at immediate risk. This is the framework from which I am approaching these questions.

I am sure both police and EMTs in Phoenix filed similar reports with social services in Arizona as personnel in such positions of responsibility would be required by law to do so. Occasionally, one would have to take a report where a child could not be helped. These were always the hardest reports to write because there was nothing that could be done other than to write an account of what had happened and what was left to be done.

In this case it is entirely possible the child's mother was occupied for a short time perhaps with another child. But even a short time is enough time for a child to put herself into a perilous position. The mother tries to rectify matters but no avail. As tragic as that scenario is I would rather that be the case than have a situation where a child was simply left unsupervised to their own devices. If that is the case than the well being of the other children in the home has to then be taken into account and appropriate action taken.

As for Mike Tyson, whatever his past crimes, one does not wish such a tragedy on anyone.

1 comment:

Jeyaraj said...

Heartfelt condolences to Mike. We all feel sorry.