A two-year-old Masterton child is fighting for his life after
receiving life-threatening injuries during an alleged assault
by an adult.
Caleb Skinner was airlifted to Starship Hospital in Auckland
on Monday night with serious head injuries following the
assault at a George St address that night.
His parents, Joanne Smith and Daryll Skinner, are holding
vigil at their son's bedside waiting for him to awake from an
induced coma to help reduce swelling of his brain.
A man known to the family has been arrested and charged with
assaulting the child.
Ms Smith said she was at work on Monday when she got a call
to say her son was being rushed to hospital with serious head
She was devastated he had been hurt.
"I just can't believe it.''
Mr Skinner said Caleb was a fighter but was very concerned
about the toddler's current condition.
"He's normally so full of life. It's just devastating.''
Along with the head injury, Caleb had bruises over his entire
body, Mr Skinner said.
"He's sedated because there is too much bleeding from the
brain at the moment. He's on machines which are breathing for
him ... it's not good.''
When Caleb was first taken to hospital he responded for a
short time, touching his nose and trying to reach out, his
"It hasn't been good since then.''
Hospital visits are not unknown to the toddler, who has
undergone surgery more than once for a bowel condition he was
A 39-year-old Masterton man appeared before Judge Tom
Broadmore in Masterton District Court this afternoon on a
charge of assaulting a child. He wore a white police-issue
boiler suit and stood staring towards the front of the
courtroom throughout his appearance.
Judge Tom Broadmore granted interim name suppression and the
man was remanded in custody by consent .
He is due back in court on March 17.
- By Cherie Taylor of the Wairarapa Times-Age