WINDSOR — The owner of a day care has been charged with assaulting a child after a 19-month-old girl was found unresponsive at Little Beans Daycare after allegedly being wrapped in a blanket in a way that led to her being unable to breathe.

Savannah Brann, 24, of Windsor, was charged by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office with aggravated assault, assault on a child less than 6 years old and endangering the welfare of a child.

Raegan Blagdon Photo courtesy of Susan Blagdon

The sheriff’s office was contacted by a state Department of Health and Human Services home investigator after a 19-month-old girl, Raegan Blagdon, was found unresponsive following a nap at Little Beans Daycare, an at-home day care in Windsor. An affidavit filed by Detective Michael Bickford indicates the day care is owned by Brann.

A pediatrician specializing in child abuse assessed the child’s injuries as consistent with asphyxia due to a dangerous sleeping situation and inappropriate restraint in a blanket. Court documents state the girl was not able to free her arms because of the way she was wrapped in the blanket.

Her grandmother, Susan Blagdon, said the now-20-month-old Raegan suffered brain damage to three major parts of her brain.

She just went home from a rehabilitation facility Monday, as experts thought she might do better in her home environment. Her grandmother said the girl, who was walking and talking before the incident, now can’t walk, talk or see. But she is making progress, Susan Blagdon said, recently becoming able to hold her head up and sit up again, for short periods. She was having seizures, but they are now being controlled by medication.

“She’s lost a lot but she’s progressing a little each time,” Susan Blagdon said of Raegan’s rehabilitation. “It’s like she’s a 20-month old starting out brand new again. She’s very sensitive to touch, she’s scared, because she can’t see.”

Raegan Blagdon Photo courtesy of Susan Blagdon

Jackie Farwell, communications director for the state Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed there is an open investigation into the day care, and that it is closed. She did not answer whether the state had required it to close or suspended its license. It was licensed as a family child care. Farwell said DHHS may release further information upon the conclusion of its investigation into the day care.

An attorney representing Brann said she shut down the day care voluntarily right after the incident took place, and that she is innocent of the charges against her.

“What you have here is a terrific person,” attorney Timothy Zerillo said of Brann. “Someone who loves children, someone who has dedicated her life to caring for children, a dedicated member of her church. This is in the very early stages, but these are very serious charges and my client is innocent of those charges.”

According to Bickford’s affidavit, Brann allegedly told the DHHS investigator she had put Raegan down for a nap around noon on March 9. She said she checked on the girl around 2 that afternoon and heard her snoring, then checked on her again at 2:43 p.m. due to her sleeping more than she normally would.

The investigator was told by Brann she found the girl lying facedown with her head partially under a pillow, unresponsive. Brann said she performed CPR on the girl, and after several repetitions of resuscitation efforts, the girl began breathing on her own. The girl was taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta then later to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Brann allegedly demonstrated to the DHHS investigator how she swaddled the child in a blanket. Because Raegan was up talking with other kids in the room and keeping them awake, she was put in another room and wrapped three times around her body in a blanket, which was then tucked under her.

“Yeah, that usually just helps her stay still so she sleeps otherwise she stands up and keeps herself awake,” Brann allegedly told the DHHS investigator. Brann declined to be interviewed by Bickford, his affidavit states.

Bickford said a report from Dr. Amanda Brownell, a child abuse pediatrician for Spurwink Center for Safe and Healthy Families, stated the girl was found facedown in the mattress, her head under a pillow and her body still wrapped in the blanket. She was injured when she rolled into her bedding and was unable to free her arms and couldn’t breathe.

“A child of this age and developmental ability would have normally been able to move her body so that she did not asphyxiate, but with her arms pinned against her she was not able to extricate herself,” the affidavit states the report said.

Brann was released on personal recognizance bail. Her initial court appearance is scheduled for May 24.

The class A aggravated assault charge, the most serious of the charges, is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds to help the family, which does have health insurance, with expenses for her medical care and travel to therapy. As of Tuesday afternoon it had raised more than $13,300 toward a goal of $20,000.

Susan Blagdon said it’s been hard for family members to see what happened to Raegan.

“She’s a rugged little girl, a very energetic, happy little girl,” Blagdon said of her granddaughter. You just don’t understand how, you drop your child or grandchild off at day care, you send them knowing they’ll be safe and you trust in these people, and she’s happy and playing and then, three hours later, she’s in an ambulance.”

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