Doctors gave one-year-old Fabian Hackett a 30 percent chance of survival after he was taken to the hospital Saturday. After surgery and days at a burn treatment center at Shriner's Hospital in Cincinnati, Fabian is in stable condition and beginning to breathe on his own.
When she left her toddler with her ex-boyfriend, Jason Lopez, while she went to work Saturday, Fabian's mom Shelly never imagined her son's life would be in danger.
Aimee Berges is a close friend of Shelly. She said she was shocked when Shelly told her that one-year-old Fabian was in the hospital with third-degree burns covering 70 percent of his body, and a skull fracture.
Lopez was booked into the Shawnee County Department of Corrections Tuesday on Attempted Murder and Abuse of a Child under 18. Berges, who is pregnant with her first child, said she can't imagine anyone causing harm to a child.
"It's a terrible thing that happened," Berges said. "He's just an innocent baby."
Berges said she had met Lopez before, but didn't know him well. She said he and Shelly broke up about three weeks before the incident happened.
Berges said Shelly works two jobs to support Fabian as a single mom. Berges said even with the help of the Shriner's Hospital, which takes care of the medical costs while Fabian's there and visits until he's 18 years old, this will prove more than an emotional test for Shelly, but also a financial one.
"Fabian's going to need so much after he gets done with his medical care," Berges said. "It's going to take a lot for her to be able to do that on her own.
"She's trying to do the best she can for her son. It's hard to see someone struggle who's trying so hard."
Berges said Fabian is expected to be in the hospital for at least three months. Shriner's have a handful of rooms for family to stay in while children are being treated. That is where Shelly will stay while Fabian is there. Her landlord at a Topeka apartment complex has agreed to hold Shelly's apartment for her while she's away so she doesn't have to worry about it. Berges wasn't sure if Shelly's two employers would also assist by giving her time off to stay in Cincinnati.
Lopez remains in jail while the District Attorney reviews the case against him and decides on charges.
A fund has been set up at Capital City Bank in Topeka. Donations can be made at any Capital City branch for the "Fabian Hackett Benefit Fund." You can also send donations directly to:
Shriners Hospitals for Children, Cincinnati
c/o Shelly Hackett
3229 Burnet Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45229-3095