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Father to Take Custody of Baby Woundedhead

Father to Take Custody of Baby Woundedhead



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Tonya Papanikolas Reporting"I feel sad. The baby went through a lot, you know. She lost her mother."

A baby delivered after her mother was shot in the doorway of a motel in August has a new legal guardian. The father of 13-week-old Darla Woundedhead will be taking custody of the baby. She is still in critical condition at LDS hospital, where the father visits almost every day.

It was a happy day for the father, mixed with sadness for little Darla's condition. The judge said everyone had a heavy heart today knowing Darla was still in a vegetative state. The baby has been in critical condition since she was delivered in August, two months early.

Her mother was shot at a Salt Lake motel and doctors delivered little Darla by emergency c-section. Today the judge gave custody to Carlos Najera, the baby's father. Judge Valdez said Najera has shown his care and concern for Darla by spending almost every day with her in the hospital, hoping for a miracle.

Brenda Bullman, Baby's Maternal Great Aunt: "He changes her diaper, he talks to her, he sings to her. He does a lot."

Carol Sisco, Department of Human Services: "The baby has a lot of needs, and he's received specialized training in how to take care of her."

Brenda Bullman: "I think the judge made a good decision. He loves his daughter very much. And no matter what, he wants to take care of her."

Darla has tested positive for three types of narcotics and suffers from brain injuries. She's been on life support, though she can sometimes breathe on her own. Darla will be evaluated to see if she needs further surgery. Then she will be discharged to a care facility.

Another hearing is set for January to make sure the dad qualified for Medicaid. The baby is now taking her dad's last name.

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