October 12, 2022

Nurses and RTs Save Newborn Babies From Being Strangled at Texas Hospital

Nurses and RTs Save Newborn Babies From Being Strangled at Texas Hospital

Due to the quick thinking and swift actions of the nursing staff and respiratory therapists at Odessa Regional Medical Center in Texas, several newborns are safe and home with their parents. 

On Monday evening, the Odessa Police Department arrested 18-year-old Marcus Dewayne McCowan Jr. with two counts of Attempted Capital Murder, as well as Assault, Assault of a Public Servant, Resisting Arrest, Attempting to Take a Weapon From an Officer, Criminal Trespass, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

According to reports, McCowan was at the hospital visiting his girlfriend who was in labor when he started acting “odd and unreasonable”. The affidavit said that after approaching the nurses' station and grabbing a nurse by the arm, McCowan ran towards Registered Nurse Haley Sanchez, Registered Nurse Kassandra Reyes, and a mom holding her newborn.  

This content used under license from "Ask Nurse Alice."

McCowan pushed Sanchez and grabbed the newborn and ran into an empty Lactation Room. Officials said that McCowan then grabbed the newborn by the neck with both hands and the newborn turned blue. Several nurses were able to get the baby away from McCowan.

Unfortunately, McCowan was able to break into the locked nursery, pushing several healthcare workers in the process, grabbing another newborn shaking her, and telling her to “die”, according to reports.  McCowan was shaking the baby and motioning towards throwing the newborn to the ground, according to the respiratory therapist. The therapist intervened and with Security Officer Lori Tavarez they were able to get McCowan to the ground while ensuring the baby did not hit the floor. 

Police officers were initially unable to detain McCowan who resisted arrest and reportedly tried to grab a corporal’s gun from his belt. Police found a THC vape pen on the suspect. McCowan was taken to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center, where his bond was set at $228,000.

Odessa Regional Medical Center issued a statement following the incident:

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to those who responded to the incident last evening, especially our nurses, therapists, and security team who worked diligently to protect innocent babies and others. The staff and physicians, along with the response team from the Odessa Police Department, are incredible heroes and we are all so grateful to each of them. Our attention is now focused on caring for and supporting those who were impacted by this including our patients, their families, and our staff.”

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