Mom believes Ascent Children’s Health Services wrongfully discharged daughter

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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- A Marion mom is upset after she says Ascent Children’s Health Services of West Memphis wrongfully discharged her daughter.

Ascent is the same day care where 5-year-old Christopher Gardner Jr. was found dead last month after being left in a hot van.

The mom we spoke with, Ieshah Blanchard, says the day care never told other parents about Christopher’s death and she found out about it on the news.

Blanchard says her daughter Myelle has gone to Ascent for over a year for speech and occupational therapy.

She says paperwork from January shows Myelle having a severe occupational therapy need and she expected her to go to Ascent for a while after getting more paperwork last Thursday.

“This is a paper stating they just completed her new master treatment plan with all the goals she’s currently working on at the clinic," said Blanchard as she showed us the notice.

It asks for Blanchard to call to set up a time to go over her daughter’s new treatment plan within a week.

So on Monday, she says she brought her daughter in like she always does.

“Normally when I go up there, we go ahead and bring her into the classroom and then we sign her in on the way out because it’s hard to hold your child and sign the book at the same time.”

But she says the secretary stopped her and insisted she sign her child in first.

“I said, 'Wow, you guys have really gotten strict since that child’s death,' and then she just went off on me as if I am the one who killed the child, seriously.”

She says the woman yelled at her, saying she had no right to say that and should've kept the comment about the child's death to herself.

Police say Christopher's death last month happened after workers neglected to do their jobs.

Blanchard says her comment clearly upset the secretary, and she left after signing her daughter in but came back later that day to a surprise.

“I was just so shocked when I picked her up and they discharged her.”

The discharge papers say Myelle tested out of occupational therapy and no longer needed to be at the clinic but still needed speech therapy.

Blanchard says Ascent’s policy allows students to be part-time at the facility for one developmental disability.

“She still qualifies for speech therapy there, so what’s the justification for discharging her?”

She says she’s also confused since she received the treatment plan memo four days earlier and doesn’t think it’s a coincidence the discharge came the same day as her comments about Christopher’s death.

It's left her scrambling to find a new day care as a full-time working single mom.

We reached out to Ascent for a response to this on Wednesday and did not hear back.

When we checked back with them Thursday morning, they said they sent their response to the wrong email address and would resend it.

We still have not received that email at this time.

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