The Rivenburgs were not ready to say goodbye to Baby Steffen. On the morning of his death, Steffen's parents and grandparents were in court pleading for his life, but their cries were drowned out by the voices of others who literally argued for his death. The events surrounding Baby Steffen's death on Thursday afternoon, June 8, are disturbing, and the family wants answers. The prayer of thousands of people around the world was that Baby Steffen's heart would beat and that he would breathe when doctors at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt removed him from the ECMO machine. According to Lisa Rivenburg, that is exactly what happened. "His heart was beating!" But she says that the doctors didn't give him the option of surviving. A doctor told the family that his heart wouldn't beat for long, so they wanted to give him painkillers "to relax him." Just a short time before he was removed from life support, Baby Steffen was kicking his feet and moving his arms in response to his family. While his parents still pleaded for his life and for time with their baby, Lisa tried to record her grandson's final moments. She reports that a Vanderbilt police officer told her to stop recording: "I'm getting ready to arrest you." She said that he started to reach for something. She didn't know whether he was reaching for his handcuffs or gun or something else, but she stopped recording. Grandma did not get her phone back until she was seated in her car. She and the baby's parents were escorted under armed guard out of the hospital. "We were treated like criminals!"
Doctors at Vanderbilt Hospital in Tennessee want to take a baby off of life support Tuesday, May 30. His family is fighting for his very life. They believe that there is still hope for 7 month old Steffen Rivenburg Jr., who was born with heart defects but was not sick until after Child Protective Services seized custody of him and his older sister on February 2. His mother Patricia Tornberg told Health Impact News that, even though he is very sick now: I feel like he can make a turn-around. My husband and I want to give him a chance by keeping him on life support. After baby Steffen was taken from his parents and placed into foster care, he caught a very serious viral infection on February 17 which caused damage to his heart. A heart surgery that the parents were told would not be needed until he was 6 months old became necessary on February 23. That was followed by 3 more heart surgeries and other procedures on his tiny body. Patricia and Steffen Rivenburg Sr. have told the hospital and the Department of Children's Services (DCS) that they refuse to consent to taking their son off of life support, but the doctors reportedly plan to unplug him by noon on Tuesday, May 30th. The family is requesting that everyone call the Governor of Tennessee to prevent this from happening.
Cody and Ashley Miller of Kentucky took their sick 5-month old baby Easton to the Emergency Room of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee late Saturday evening, September 26, 2015. When Vanderbilt made allegations of abuse against these concerned parents, they could barely comprehend what was happening. Ashley painfully recalled that moment when Shell Peters, the CPS worker (or DCBS in Kentucky) entered the hospital room with 2 officers, and uttered those 2 words: "We’re taking…" Ashley painfully recalls, "My world crumbled when I heard those 2 words. I was nursing Easton one moment, and then they walked in, and then I was balling my eyes out hysterically. He can’t be on formula – I’m breastfeeding!"