LAFOLLETTE, TN. (WLAF)- Nestled under a blanket with a tuft of her red hair sticking out, Baby Girl Boring is unaware of the drama that surrounded her birth. Sleeping peacefully, she also doesn’t know of the legal issues that await the man that allegedly killed her mother.
In May 2022, she was born via an emergency C-section after her mother had laid trapped under an SUV for 30 minutes. Doctors doubted the 2.3 lb infant would make the 15 minute drive from LaFollette to I-75 let alone the drive to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, according to her aunt Tanya Brooks.
“We watched them load her into the ambulance,” Tanya Brooks said. Accompanying the infant wasn’t an option, Tanya Brooks was still trying to process the sudden death of her sister Tabatha Boring. “I just wanted to see my sister. I needed to see her- to know it was really her,” the older sister said of hearing Boring had died as a result of the crash.
Boring had been a passenger in the white SUV driven by Daniel Sebby that day. The pair had been parked in the LaFollette Medical Center parking lot when the SUV backed over the concrete wall plummeting to the street below. In its somersault down the hill, Boring was ejected. When the vehicle came to rest, Boring, six months pregnant at the time, was pinned under it, her sister said. “She was under it for so long,” Tanya Brooks said. Sebby walked away from the crash with minor injuries.
He also walked away without being charged. But that all changed in April when a Campbell County Grand Jury indicted him on vehicular homicide, reckless vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, reckless aggravated assault and DUI. This crash killed the woman he had been dating sporadically for about 17 years.
He was also indicted on numerous charges in an accident that occurred four months after the crash.
Sebby remains in the county jail pending hearings for these cases.
His incarceration provides little comfort for Tanya Brooks and her husband James.
The baby girl born of this tragedy has her own issues to deal with, and that is where they choose to focus.
Between being deprived of oxygen for a half hour while her mother laid pinned under an SUV, the little girl also tested positive for drugs. Tanya Brooks admits her sister struggled with addictions. Boring was taking Subutex under the supervision of a physician, but she still dabbled in illegal drugs.
“She was born with drugs in her system” James Brooks says as he looks at the infant that he now cares for.
Being born with drugs in her system landed the little girl in foster care. After spending nearly two months in the intensive care unit at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, she was sent home in the physical custody of the Brooks. In Nov. 2022, the couple was granted full custody.
The Brooks are now responsible for caring for a baby they weren’t expecting. A baby born of a catastrophe that contributed to her medical issues.
“We weren’t prepared for this,” Tanya Brooks said.
Looking at the 11- month -old girl who requires near constant care, Tanya Brooks’ words feel like an understatement.
Baby Girl Boring, who is known that way to protect her privacy, is plagued with numerous health problems.
She requires a breathing machine, a suction machine and an oxygen machine. She has a tracheostomy tube to help her breathe and feeding tube for nutrition. The Brooks have had to learn how to clean and change those tubes. Depending on these tubes for her existence, the infant also takes 10- 15 medications daily.
“We have never heard her cry. She has never taken a bottle,” James Brooks said. At nearly a year old, the little girl has yet to sit up on her own.
The Brooks have grown children; they were expecting this chapter of their lives to be for them. Now it is filled with therapies that consume their weeks, doctors visits that require near weekly travel to Knoxville and the heartbreak of knowing the baby in their care will more than likely need 24 hour attention the rest of her life. The little girl is severely visually and hearing impaired.
Yet, they look at her adoringly and refuse to be more than a few inches from her.
Their small car is packed with the machines that help keep the child alive. In the front floorboard is a makeshift electrical box that powers the apparatuses for the infant while in the car.
The Brooks said the car is just is not big enough, but they lack the funds for anything larger. Their already modest income shrank when Tanya Brooks had to quit her part-time job to care for the baby.
“Our lives were for each other,” James Brooks said. “Now the rest of our lives will be devoted to her.”
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 4/24/2023 – 6AM)