Bedside vigil for injured toddler

The family of a Masterton toddler are holding a bedside vigil as they wait to see if their 2-year-old will survive serious head injuries he suffered in an alleged assault.

Caleb Skinner, 2, was airlifted to Auckland's Starship Hospital from Masterton last night in a drug induced coma following an alleged assault at his George St home.

Caleb's mother, Joanne Smith, told the Times-Age she was at work when she received a call to say her son had been taken in hospital in a serious condition.

A man known to the family has been arrested and charged with assaulting the child. He is yet to appear in court today as police are still trying to piece together what happened.

"I'm really worried. Caleb has tubes coming out of him. I can't believe someone has hurt my baby."

Caleb was born with a serious bowel problem and has undergone surgery in the past to try and correct the problem.

Ms Smith said she was devastated her son had been injured.

"I just can't believe it."

Caleb's father, Daryll Skinner, said his son was a fighter but he was also very concerned about the toddler's current condition.

"He's sedated because there is too much bleeding from the brain at the moment. He's on machines which are breathing for him. He did recognise me and responded when he did wake up for a short time but he's sedated again now. It's not good."

Mr Skinner said Caleb was covered in bruises.

"I'm really annoyed. He's got a serious head injury he might not survive and bruising all over his body."

By Cherie Taylor of the Wairarapa Times-Age

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