Parents seek accountability after child’s death


FILE – This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. Newly released federal data shows how drugmakers and distributors increased shipments of opioid painkillers across the U.S. as the nation’s addiction crisis accelerated from 2006 to 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

No charges filed after baby swallows methadone pill off neighbor’s floor

BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC-TV) — Adam and MaryBeth Gillan had just moved into their Brighton neighborhood when their neighbors invited them and their two young girls over for a welcome party on Jan. 5 of this year.

“What happened was our daughter Maisie (9 months old) came across a loose methadone pill in their kitchen and she swallowed it. No one there saw it. There were 6 adults. MaryBeth found her the next morning unresponsive, we performed CPR, we called 911 but we were too late to do anything, she had passed overnight and died on Jan. 6,” Adam Gillan said.

Just like that.

The pill had been dropped by a visiting relative.

In the end, no charges were filed and no one was punished.

“We thought someone would say this is wrong, someone would say this shouldn’t have happened and what we got was this was unfortunate this happened,” Gillan said.

Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi says he and District Attorney Sandra Doorley sat down with Adam Gillan to talk about the case and let him know that according to their reading of the penal law, there was no way to prosecute.

“Without a doubt, if we could have made an arrest, if there could have been criminal liability attached to someone in that house that evening, we could have made an arrest,” Catholdi said.

Gillan remains unconvinced.

“Accidents happen but that doesn’t mean that nobody was at fault for it, it’s something that could have been prevented, should have been prevented, it was not a lightning strike that happened here. We trace our steps back every day and think, what did we miss, but we can’t find anything. We wish we could,” Gillan said.

The Gillans say they can continue to parent Maisie by spreading a message in her name: medication should be treated with extreme care.

“Have those hard conversations with friends and family about how you’re using them, where you’re using them, it sounds like common sense, but I think many of those conversations aren’t taking place and they should be,” Gillan urged.

Outside of their frustration and their mission, the Gillans are trying to live their lives, raising their other daughter while expecting another child, never forgetting their perfect baby, the always happy Maisie – a gift so special her absence hurts all the more.

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