Mother Who Livestreamed Toddler's Death Claims Hospital Didn't Do Enough to Save Him

When 4-year-old Nayim Carter's heart stopped as he lay in a hospital bed earlier this month, his mother, Kayla Higgs, who prefers the name Amina Muhammad, reached for her cellphone.

Livestreaming on Facebook, she accused the staff at Nemours Children's Hospital of not doing enough to save her child. Her allegations, which spawned the hashtags #nayimcarter and #justicefornayimcarter, went viral, sparking an outcry against Nemours.

"On behalf of all of us at Nemours, our hearts grieve with this family and every family that has lost a child. The loss of a child is an unimaginable tragedy that shouldn't happen to anyone," a representative for Nemours Children's Hospital told Newsweek in an emailed statement.

"We do everything possible for every patient in our care. Sadly, the outcome is sometimes not what we hope for. We are here to support our families in any way we can. While we cannot comment on the particulars of this situation, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family,"

The Orlando, Florida, hospital has been repeatedly recognized for the quality of the care it provides. In 2020, it was named one of the top children's hospitals in the nation by the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization that fights for increased transparency in the field of health care, according to the Leapfrog Group's website.

In the livestream, Muhammad claimed that hospital staff resuscitated Nayim several times before giving up. "And now they're done. They said they're not going to do nothing else about it because they're done working on him," she says in the stream after flipping the camera to show Nayim's father, Alli Muhammad, performing chest compressions. He "still has a blood pressure, he still has oxygen, and he still has a heart rate, 'cause his daddy is f****** working on him because they said they're not going to do this s*** no more 'cause they're done," she says. Despite his father's efforts, Nayim died that day.

In addition to her allegation of insufficient treatment, Amina Muhammad accused the hospital staff of making Nayim take a medication that would "kill him." "The doctor claims she gave Nayim Benadryl but that is not correct! They were tired of taking care of him so they gave him a medicine to kill him! They planned to kill him!" she wrote in a caption.

This mother has lost her son name #nayimcarter in a #orlando hospital called #nemourschildrenshospital in #orlandoflorida. Now the doctor gave him a unknown drug but they told them it was #benadryl. But the mother says it’s not true. Please make this video go viral.

— Lions Den 🇺🇸🇵🇸 ADOS New Mexico (@TherealLionsDen) June 16, 2021

"We feel that they killed him because he was costing money, because they lost their patience, because they were frustrated, spiteful, vengeful, retaliatory against our complaints and directives and because he was considered a less desirable patient i.e., coma patient, trache, ventilator and g-tube dependent and a minority etc., also because of his and our strong fight for his life against the US Medical Industry and hospitals," Alli Muhammad told Newsweek in an emailed statement.

Muhammad claims to be a medical doctor but did not immediately disclose where he earned his degree or if he is licensed to practice medicine in the United States.

Benadryl is the brand name of an over-the-counter medication that is commonly used to treat symptoms such as pain, fever and congestion. When administered correctly, it is considered a safe and effective treatment for allergic reactions and common colds, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Some viewers believed Amina Muhammad's accusations.

"The way the hospitals did nothing to save you broke my heart. I pray you get justice young king," one Twitter user wrote in a message to Nayim.

"The people that work there should be ashamed of themselves that young boy is gone. His parents were doing CPR while the doctors just stood there watching how dare they," another wrote.

But the livestream didn't tell the whole story, according to WFTV. In February 2020, Nayim had a near-fatal accident in a swimming pool that left him comatose. While Alli Muhammad insists that Nayim eventually began to react to stimuli such as "voices and directions," AdventHealth Orlando, the medical center where he was initially treated, told the detective on the case that Nayim was not responsive and fully dependent on a ventilator for respiration. Further, subsequent brain-death tests allegedly showed that Nayim had "very minimal brain activity" that was not sufficient "to sustain life," according to WFTV.

However, Alli Muhammad, who believes that brain death is a legal rather than a medical phenomenon, disputes the claim.

"Nayim Carter passed all brain-death criteria test and was never at anytime declared brain-dead," he wrote in the statement.

Additionally, he wrote, the investigative report cited in the WFTV article "was outdated, and is not a medical narrative, or medical report, it was a standard law enforcement investigation of a child near-drowning incident, and is not for medical determination or medical info."

On April 21, 2020, Nayim was allowed to return home, where he received round-the-clock care in his bedroom. During that time, his father contends, he regained some speech and movement capabilities.

In December 2020, Nayim was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to Nemours. On June 14, his heart stopped for a reason or reasons that WFTV was not able to identify. Doctors and nurses tried and failed to restart the toddler's heart and eventually left the room to let Nayim's family say farewell, the news outlet reported.

Once this information surfaced, providing additional context, some Twitter users came to the hospital's defense.

"This baby was in a coma for over a year. He was dead, there was nothing the staff could do. Pray for his family," one wrote.

"tired of people pushing the narrative that the hospital staff are scum for not saving #nayimcarter when there was a lot more to the story than the video portrays. please read," another wrote.

While toxicology results had not been released as of June 21, the medical examiner listed Nayim's cause of death as complications of resuscitated drowning, according to WFTV.

Updated 06/29/2021, 10:45 a.m. ET: This story has been updated to include comments and information provided by Alli Muhammad.

A baby lies on a hospital bed.
A baby lies on a hospital bed in a government children's hospital on May 20, 2013. Three-year-old Nayim Carter died in a hospital in Orlando earlier this month. His mother claims that the hospital's medical staff didn't do enough to help him. Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images

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