- December 30, 2008
A Grave Memorial
picture taken just
days after his birth, Izayah Denison is wearing a shirt that said "My
on the front. Little did any one know that the shirt would prove
to be true. Izayah would be a hero to babies who would need his organs.
Izayah was laying in a hospital, brain dead and surgeons were going to
remove his organs to be given to other
The death of Izayah would give life to three other babies who needed a
heart, kidneys and a liver:
hero to a lot of babies"
- Izayah's father
at the home of Jenauh Denison, they found a neighbor performing CPR on
Izayah. Izayah was almost three months old and he was unconscious.
lived in the home with his mother and his three year old brother.
W. Whitmore, who was 22 at the time, was arrested later that evening,
26, 2008, at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Jenauh had checked into the
room earlier that day and Andrew had been taking care of Izayah and his
was, at first,
charged with first degree assault of a child in Spokane County District
Court. Judge Sarah Derr set bail at $1 million dollars and said that
Izayah was taken off of life support and died, the charge would be
to first degree or second degree murder.
filed said that Jenauh had checked into the Sacred Heart Medical Center
about four hours before her son was brought in. Izayah was not
and he had bruises on his legs, back and on his bottom. Jenauh said
Izayah had been colicky that day and she had handed him over to Andrew
and that had calmed him down. Andrew said that he changed Izayah's
fed him a bottle and found him limp on the couch where he had laid him
down after he fell asleep.
young child cannot not just fall down and injure themselves to the
with these injuries and so we could immediately see that some one
to the child"
Detective Sergeant Joe Peterson
of the Spokane Police Department said to Andrew that the bruises looked
like they had been given to Izayah recently. Andrew put his head down
mean to hurt him"
he had been playing with Izayah and that his head had snapped back.
Mark Burbridge said that he knew that was a lie, Andrew admitted that
had spanked Izayah with a spatula, though he said it had not been very
hard. Andrew said that if Izayah was going to keep crying, he was going
to give him something to cry about. He said that he had shaken him
times, gently, with a back and forth motion and that after that, Izayah
had gone limp and then stopped breathing.
had been dating
Andrew since August and said that Andrew considered Izayah to be his
him. He’d dance with him. He’d rock him to sleep. In a way, I do think
my fault. I had him
house. All I know is I hate myself for doing that. I wish
e could be
James A. Vancuren, said that he had been a happy baby:
I’d hold him he’d just look at me and smile and giggle"
team of doctors
were delayed because of the snow. They had been traveling from Seattle
to see Izayah and to remove his organs to be transplanted into the
to really kick in until he’s gone"
plan to get tattoos that will honor their son. On December 30, 2008, at
1:45 p.m., Izayah was taken off of life support and he died. Izayah was
be cremated and his ashes would be put into two urns, one for each of
parents. Jenauh hopes that she can get in touch with the families who
received the organs donated:
have a better life than everything that we’ve had to deal with”
at least two babies a year die from Shaken Baby Syndrome. Sadly, Andrew
and Jenauh had been visited just days before Izayah died, by a public
nurse who had spoken to them about the dangers of shaking a baby.
a program called First Steps, which is a state-funded program to help
pregnant woman receive education about parenting, Jenauh and Andrew had
also been visited on December 23 and scheduled another appointment for
seven days later.
First Steps program
serves 29,000 women with many of them being single, unemployed and
a high school diploma. Elaine Conley, the director of Community And
Services says that the protocols include having the mother and other
sign a statement saying that they have participated in the program and
have received information about parenting. Signing the statement shows
that the parents and caregivers are held accountable for the well being
of the children. Officials couldn't comment on if Andrew and Jenauh had
signed the contract or not.
pamphlets with young mothers and a video can also be shown to warn
the dangers of who a baby is left with. The video talks about how easy
it is to harm and even kill a baby with shaking, even when it doesn't
very severe. The state budget crisis is causing the program to be cut
about 20% and that will mean many women will not get the counseling
are in need of. Officials say that the cuts in this program are going
cause more infant deaths:
work to do and yet the money and numbers of nurses aren't
going to be
a baby who is
being seen by First Steps is shaken, a thorough investigation takes
to make sure that protocol was followed:
sometimes these events happen and there is absolutely nothing that
done to prevent it"
- Health District’First Steps Manager.
that the nurse who had visited them had talked to them about
to us about that, yes. She left pamphlets with us and I sat down with
she had taken a lie detector test and that another one was scheduled,
show that she was not home when Izayah was hurt, she had checked
herself into the hospital for postpartum depression:
to rule out that I had anything to do with this.
I have nothing to hide"
He is survived by his
mother Jenauh M. Denison; father James
A. Vancuren; brothers Daumanic W.G. Obrien, Zachary, John Mathew and
Vancuren; sister Emily Vancuren all of Spokane; maternal grandparents
and Charlotte Etue of Fruitland; maternal great-grandfather Elmer
of Davenport; paternal grandmother Laurie Nelson; uncles Daniel
and Brock Nelson; several aunts, uncles and cousins; close friends
Jenks and John Paul Roots. Preceded in death by two great-
grandfather and an uncle.
Memorial Services 1:00 PM,
24, 2009 at Heritage Chapel. Memorial contributions can be made at any
Numerica Credit Union Branch.
Today is June 9, 2014 and
I am unable to find any further information on this case.
December 23, 2014 - (Thank you Cat
for all you do to remember
Jenauh has moved on with her life, though she seems to be missing
Izayah. A Facebook page shows the son who was
born before Izayah, he's nine years old. On October 2, 2012, she posted
Birthday to my angel in heaven IZAYAH. I love you so very much
and miss you all to much more. Wishing you were here you would have
been 4 today. But some a**hole took you away. So now I just wish,
wishing on a lot of things. But the one I hope is I can have an alright
day. Wishing you were with me on your special day. I LOVE YOU IZAYAH
ARLEN WAYNE DENISON. also jeffs parents leaving today isn't making it
any easier. They have been wonderful to me.
Death Occurred in the state of Washington
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