Tennessee Judge Grants Injunction To Keep Baby Steffen Alive After Almost Dying In DHS Custody

Tennessee judge grants a temporary injunction to keep Baby Steffen alive after the 7-month old almost died while in DHS custody

  • Baby Steffen was born with Down Syndrome and congenital heart defects

  • On February 2 Baby Steffen and his sister Annalise were placed in DHS custody

  • On February 17 Baby Steffen was rushed to Vanderbilt Hospital a diagnosed for having a serious infection

  • Doctors were going to pull the plug on Tuesday until Judge Grimes granted a temporary injunction that is stands until 12:oo pm on June 6 2017

Tragic does not even begin to explain what 7-month-old Steffen Rivenburg Jr has been through in his short time on this Earth. Baby Steffen was staring death in the face on Tuesday until a Tennessee judge gave him an extension on life.

Baby Steffen was born on October 15, 2016, with Down Syndrome and congenital heart defects, including Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD), and pulmonary stenosis. At 3-months-old, doctors suspected Tetrology of Fallot, but that was not diagnosed at that time.

Doctors said that Baby Steffen would have to go through heart surgery once he was around 6-months-old, but all of that changed when the Tennessee Department of Human Services stepped into the picture.

Baby Steffen’s parents admit to missing three doctors appointments. One of those appointments was a voluntary visit with a Down Syndrome clinic.

With everything going, Baby Steffen’s first-grade sister Annalise missed some school. Patricia and Steffen Sr say they were trying to find an “umbrella school” so that they could switch Annalise to homeschool. With the upcoming surgeries and health concerns for Baby Steffen they knew it would be a better fit for their family.

Tennessee Department of Human Services

On February 2, the children’s grandmother was waiting for Annalise to get home from school while the parents were at a doctors appointment with Baby Steffen. Annalise never came home that day.

The panicked grandmother began making calls trying to figure out Annalise’s whereabouts. When she called the school, she was told that DHS had picked Annalise up from the school for truancy issues.

At the same time, DHS workers arrived at Vanderbilt Hospital to take Baby Steffen into their custody under abuse allegations for the missed doctors appointments.

When the children were taken, Baby Steffen’s medical records show that he was stable. He was eating well, and there were no immediate problems despite all of his health problems.


When the children were placed in DHS custody, they were given multiple vaccines, and Baby Steffen’s diet was changed. Just fifteen days after being placed in DHS custody, Baby Steffen’s foster mother took the infant to Vanderbilt Hospital stating that the baby was choking.

Baby Steffen was rushed into the Intensive Care Unit where he was diagnosed with metapneumovirus. An infection that he acquired after being placed in state custody.

The parent’s say the infection forced doctors to operate on the infant three months earlier than planned. A shunt was placed into his already weakened heart to help with blood flow. The shunt was later removed.

Four Heart Surgeries

Baby Steffen had four heart surgeries in just a matter of weeks. Baby Steffen has been on the ECMO machine for five weeks. Doctors are now saying his heart is too hard and Vanderbilt Hospital has denied the child a heart transplant.

Instead of a heart transplant, the latest plan was to keep Baby Steffen on narcotics until they pulled the plug on Tuesday. Judge Grimes stepped in before the infant’s only chance of survival was taken away and granted an injunction until June 6, at 12:00 pm.

Tennessee Judge Grants Injunction To Keep Baby Steffen Alive After Almost Dying In DHS Custody by The Daily Haze on Scribd

Judge Grimes was filling in for Judge Wayne Shelton, who is more familiar with the case and will make a final ruling when the injunction is up.


DHS now wants to conduct a psychological evaluation on Annalise. DHS reportedly claims the young girl is getting in trouble all of the time, but the mother says that she never got into trouble before she was placed in DHS custody.

It is no secret that children in the system are given questionable prescriptions to pharmaceutical drugs. It is a growing problem within Child Protection Services that pays big bucks to the providers of the prescriptions with little to no benefits for the children that are being given these drugs.



About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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