REDONDO BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A parent’s worst nightmare unfolded live on the family’s nanny cam app.
Dyana Ko looked at her phone to check in on Landon, her 2-year-old son with special needs. What she saw shook her to her core and changed her life forever — the nurse who was supposed to be caring for her son was beating him.
“I told the other moms. I said I think I see my special needs baby being abused. I think I’m going to pass out,” Ko said.
The nurse’s abuse gets more savage. At one point she rolls up a magazine and uses it as a weapon.
The excruciating scene played out as Ko watched it live. She and her husband were at least 20 minutes away, at one of their other young son’s basketball games.
“My husband was in the parking lot, moving the car at the time. I told them if I passed out look at the video because this is what I see going on,” Ko said.
Ko and her husband called 911. Police raced to the scene. They arrived and arrested the nurse. Their son was rescued but the damage had been done.
“I just feel like as his parents, we failed him, because we left someone to take care of him,” said Ko.
Added her husband Chris: “Just to see him so helpless. It was heartwrenching. We had to force ourselves to watch it live.”
Making this all the more horrific — Landon’s condition is fragile. He suffers from Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome. He eats through a feeding tube, is non-verbal and requires 24-hour care.
“He’s not verbal. He’s already blind in one eye. And he’s 100 percent fed by a feeding tube,” said Ko.
The nurse in the video is Thelma Manalastas. She was employed by Maxim Healthcare Services. It’s a nationwide company that provides home healthcare. When we told them about what happened they released this statement, which reads in part:
“Upon learning of this incident, we conducted an investigation that resulted in the termination of Ms. Manalastas’ employment with Maxim. We have notified the California Board of Nursing and will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities as they investigate this matter.”
The Ko’s lawyer Scott Dinsmore says Maxim’s explanation does not cut it — the family has filed a lawsuit against Maxim and the nurse.
CBS2 News did reach out to the nurse and did not hear back from her.
“The worst case I’ve ever seen of somebody taking advantage — where you have a vulnerable party and a powerful party,” said Dinsmore.
Maxim is embroiled in several other abuse lawsuits in other states. They told us they would not comment on those lawsuits.
For the Ko’s they want to help other families avoid their trauma.
“I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for that,” said Ko.