Infant in Child Abuse Case Improves, Rummage Sale Fundraiser Planned

Infant critically injured in suspected abuse case makes strides as family plans May 12 fundraiser in Ann Arbor.

In the days following Dec. 7, 2011, family members of Hunter Sewejkis, then just four months old, began planning a funeral as they prepared to disconnect the infant from life support after Hunter in a case of suspected child abuse.

Hunter’s father, 25-year-old Anthony Sewejkis, faces trial in Wayne County Circuit Court beginning May 8 on charges of first-degree child abuse after being accused of twice slamming the infant’s head into the floor of the family’s Michigan Avenue home in Canton. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Hunter, meanwhile, continues to surprise doctors and family, making strides toward a partial recovery, but still suffers from the effects of his severe head trauma and requires the use of a feeding tube and anti-seizure medication.

“He is doing a lot better,” said Melissa Pangle of Saline, Hunter’s cousin. “But he only has 30 percent vision in one eye and is still blind in the other one.”

Hunter has undergone an extensive rehabilitation routine to assist his development while defying the grim prognosis given after his injury.

“He’s actually responding,” Pangle said. “He learned how to smile, learned how to recognize voices. He’s pretty good hearing, considering what happened to him.”

For a family that had feared the worst six months before, Hunter’s signs of improvement have been encouraging.

“He’s definitely more responsive than anyone thought he would ever be,” Pangle said.

Pangle said doctors and the family were prepared to lose Hunter in December, even removing his ventilator at the hospital.

“They took him off all the machines, took him off the ventilators and (the doctors said to) expect him to go in 90 minutes,” she said. “He kept going. Then they said 24 hours and he kept going, then they said they saw instances where (similar victims have) gone a week, and he kept going.”

Long road to recovery remains

Still, Pangle said, Hunter faces a long road ahead, as he lost much of his brain function, and nobody is able to even project how long he will be able to live in his condition.

“Doctors won’t give any prognosis because they’ve never seen a baby do what he’s doing,” Pangle said. She said Hunter never would be capable of living independently.

Pangle said Hunter currently is in the process of being adopted by his maternal grandparents.

Hunter’s mother, Leann Garlick, recently lost custody of the child, Pangle said, and Hunter remains a ward of the state until his adoption is finalized.

Rummage sale to benefit Baby Hunter

Pangle said family and friends are having a May 12 rummage sale at WideWorld Sports Center, 2140 Oak Valley Drive in Ann Arbor, through Rummage for a Cause to benefit Hunter and his grandparents to assist with expenses for caring for the child.

The sale runs from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and features a wide variety of vendors.

The Michigan Tigers Futbol Club, a nonprofit group that normally would use all of its bake sale proceeds from the event to give scholarships to travel soccer players unable to pay for team and league expenses in Dexter, Saline, Chelsea, Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, will split its contributions with Hunter’s family.

HairOfTheDog May 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Actually you CAN tell a lot about a person in two and a half years. It depends on how often you visit that person and talk to them. You could have known Leanne her whole life and from the sounds of it, you didn't hardly make an effort to see or visit or get to know her, yet Eric H sounds like he probably knows her a lot better than you do. Party animal. :)
HairOfTheDog May 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM
You're kinda blond and ditzy aren't you Tiffany? Most Tiffany's are .. haha.
Jezzabell May 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM
I thought you could only be prejudice against a race or group of race...not an action, i.e. child abuse, etc. Unless child abuse itself is a race...
Eric H. May 15, 2012 at 11:08 PM
I love you Dog. @Tiff: well if stating a fact from history is a threat then I guess everyone who discusses war is threatening someone...eh? Sorry Hitler, my bad!
HairOfTheDog May 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Aren't you the one who left their child to the family while you partyed your heart out? I remember seeing that posted somewhere or another. Way to be ..hypocrite. Anyone should stop taking your posts seriously after hinting that noone can know someone after two and a half years.
Eric H. May 15, 2012 at 11:09 PM
@sohpi: that's racism. Prejudice is open to anything you have a dislike towards.
HairOfTheDog May 15, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Hey everyone, novel idea. We should start ripping on Anthony, afterall he IS the one who did this.
Eric Garlick May 15, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Hey heres an even more novel idea @ everyone, drop it finally. I mean really, I can call most people out on here for so much garbage its not even funny, but someone has to take the high ground and act like an adult, all of you people and internet drama, it does nothing for anyone except cause BS. The ONLY reason I posted is because my lawyer called me and mentioned this all to me, I knew everything thats been said from top to bottom since it all started, I had to jump in because my lawyer said I need to start clearing things up because it can still come up in court, and as I said earlier I can see that you (being tiffany) don't quite comprehend the fact that I can still lose franky because of all of this nonsense coming out of your mouths. You talk about your degree in this and degree in that, yet you're still sitting here acting like a 12 year old. How about acting like a civilized adult and keep this crap private rather then posting it for the world to read.
Eric Garlick May 15, 2012 at 11:38 PM
And Tiffany, let's be clear about something, you can say what you want in regards to hunter after what happened to him, but please don't sit there and make comments about any time frame up until that point, again you know nothing about anything having to do with Leanne 10 years prior to that regardless of where you lived or anything else, if you want to make comments about anything after hunters hospitilization fine and dandy, feel free, but make sure you actually have some facts not heresay and certainly not about me nor my son, you have no business saying a word in regards to me or my son period OR what kind of a mother leanne was or wasnt with franky because again you were not there period. As for the juvenile court, leanne IS going to be going through the reunification process through the court system in regards to franky because there was no cause to terminate her rights to franky, so don't sit there and talk about things you don't know anything about, end of discussion on that topic.
Eric Garlick May 15, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Before anything is said i'm not drinking anyones kool aid, i'm stating actual facts that need to be on record so that things arent taken out of context or misconstrued.
Eric H. May 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM
@Tiffany: According to your logic, you have no alibi because you can't know someone no matter how long you claim to. This stems from the fact if you want to proclaim I'm calling you a black man who was killed during the civil rights movement, then I'm saying you can't know someone no matter how long you've known them because apparently even though I've known Lee for 2.5 years, I don't know her at all. Logic, gotta love it.
Eric H. May 16, 2012 at 12:30 AM
@Teri: You really should tell your daughter and the rest of the family to stop it, no? They are the reason after all we are sitting here, gripping and bemoaning over defending Lee when this is SUPPOSED to be about Hunter. We did not start insulting the name of Hunter for our own egostatistical needs, they (including Sal) have been using Hunter's condition as a sympathy card and means of exciting a community to be against Lee. For what? The fact they don't like her? While this is the age of the computers, its cowardly to hide behind a computer screen. I've already stated people can get a hold of me in a private manner, even on FB, and they fail to do so and get pissed because I'm speaking my mind just as much as they are.
Jezzabell May 16, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Eric H isnt the same person as Eric G. Everyone just needs to stop this :-(
Eric H. May 16, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Okie dokie! I'll be waiting!
Eric H. May 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM
So, when is he going to call? I'm excited, I finally get to talk to him! I mean, I got my GV window open and everything ready for his call. Or is this going to be like waiting for Santa Claus? Side note, I'm not Eric G., just so happens we have the same first name. Anyone who knows him knows he wouldn't talk like this. I'm more sarcastic and he's been pretty serious/straight forward throughout this entire ordeal. Props to the people though for thinking they know someone!
Christie Heckler May 16, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Yes, I dont know any of you here, but I can observe from the drama posted here that it really DOES sound like Jerry Springer show. I feel for Eric G. & can certainly understand his situation & perspective of having possible personal damage from all this stuff going back & forth in public & on internet no less! - How about private emails?! It really IS a shame. All this feuding. What's getting lost in the mix is HUNTER! Can you people NOT see that?! My ongoing prayer is that may God's love become a true realization that produces sheer thankfulness for His provision of Hunter's strength in his continued struggle for survival. I personally am in awe of that. I dont usually follow things like this, but Hunter's story is compelling because his IS living! Also BTW, I am so disgusted with "HairOf..." that I wont even waste more time trying to rationally communicate with whoever it is, by giving them the satisfaction of further & pointless arguement, because of the GALL they have in making maliciously crude & rude comments & totally erroneous assumptions about my circumstances, that she has no business in even doing so anyway. I have trouble just trying to grasp the likes of that kind of shallow mentality & ignorance. Believe me, I have had ample & unfortunate "opportunities" to discuss sensitive situational issues such as these. Oh well. Again, all sympathy & HOPE goes out for Hunter's extremely difficult life situation to which HE fell HELPLESS victim & with which he was dealt.
Eric H. May 16, 2012 at 01:02 AM
@ Christie H.: Yes, I do understand. Which, if you've read (not sure if you have or not) my previous posts, I've addressed it numerous times. Not only here but on FB where it originally started with me personally. The thing is, Teri & Tiffany feel the need to protect their family's story while Eric G. feels the need to protect his name and his parental rights. I was just brought into this because I told people on FB to focus on Hunter and not bring personal issues into this delicate situation, and they hated me for that.
Jezzabell May 16, 2012 at 01:11 AM
ENOUGH!! Everyone. enough is enough.
Christie Heckler May 16, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Earlier today I posted somethng that likely has gone unnoticed in all this bashing. It is just after Eric H.'s 6:16pm post above. I'd like to bring it to the attention of this crowd. Logic?! I can very well see a stereotype of the mentality of folks such as yourselves, but I have the descency to refrain from further description! I wont even go there, unlike others here. (But I genuinely will give my opinionated hooray for both Erics! -- I also get a kick out of Eric H.'s hysterical slyness!) BYE-BYE. But I give my continued hope & prayer for the littlest tender soul: HUNTER.
Christie Heckler May 16, 2012 at 03:53 AM
@ Melissa: Thanks for the fund info. & it truly is a wonder that Hunter's case didnt make national news since he is a miracle survivor of such horrindous physical trauma. But you know what?! It's still a possiblity, though. Maybe if his story did, there could be more donations in Hunter's behalf. Its a very compelling case to follow & more people would become aware & drawn to his incredible strife for life & the utmost rarity of the infant's survival at all. Its a dynamic cause, needless to say.
Melissa Pangle May 16, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I will be the first to say i had nothing to do with leanne the last few years. I havent agreed with her choices and because of that she blocked me out. I have heard nothing but good of how frankie is doing with his father. I didnt see frankie for years. I saw him as an infant and brough him lots of things and it seemed like everything was on the right track. I didnt see him again until about 3 years ago when i took leanne caping to ludington to meet up with some guy while my children and i camped. When she got preg woth hunter we had differing opinions because she was complaining how the state wasnt giving her enough food stamps or assistance, and that she needed more. She was also looking for people to give her all the supplies she needed for hunter. I told her that it wasnt fair to bring a child into the world when the parent does t have a stable place to live, a job, supplies. Or anything thats needed to care for their children. Once again she blocked me because i said something she didnt agree with. When hunters injuries occured i was at the hospital despite our differences and i believed that she was doing better. She had a job and apt and it seemed like things were going right. I was fully supportive of her throughout. I wont go into details of texts that were sent between us but there were some. It was only then at i decided to side withhunter and make it about hunter and not leanne that she became rude to any of us that were looking out for hunter and not her
Melissa Pangle May 16, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I will say that eric i really do applaud you, not many men would want to take their child, they usually leave and do the every other weekend thing. I do hope that when all of this is over you regain rights to frankie.
Out of Towner May 16, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I have been following this since December when I first heard of the incident... People are quick to judge and cast disparities without knowing all the facts... People are quick to believe everything that is printed within the media as the absolute truth but there are always things left out of media coverage... after all media needs ratings, sales, hits, etc... What the "family" of Leanne keeps doing with the exception of Melissa, who has tried to stay as mute as possible, is turn an article about supporting a little boy's needs into an open forum on the degradation of Leanne's character. I have my own opinions on the matter however those are my private opinions that are between myself and God. I am however going to defend Leanne in the sense that this is not the time NOR the place for this...there is never a time or place for the inhumane treatment of another human being whether it be what Tony did to Hunter or what her family has done to Leanne. I will be the first to admit that I am ignorant to all sides of the story and that is because what information i have received has been through media outlets, NEVER off of FB or any other convoluted social media web page. Eric G., Eric H. and Hair of the Dog have voiced their opinions contrary to this "loving family" and some not very nice things have been said... Sal blames Leanne for what she has or has not done.. IF she is such a bad person, the one should look to how she got here... meaning how great of a job did Sal do...
Eric H. May 16, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I promised to stay out of this due to the drama that has been going on in this thing alone, but I did want to comment on what this person said. Thank you for being another person to admit they're ignorant to the situation (better said than how I worded it before).
Out of Towner May 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I was not there therefore there is nothing that I can say will be absolute fact and in my line of work I deal with evidence :)
Eric H. May 16, 2012 at 02:37 PM
+1 for non-elitism. +2 for coolness. +infinity because you seem cool.
Sal salsdlspraysystems@att.net0828 May 17, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Hey Eric H. Why don't you post your number so I can call you. Let's see how far you BS goes. Or just stay the hell out of this. This needs to go back to just about Hunter. Everyone needs to keep this about Hunter. If you want to be more personal give me your number and I'll be happy to call you.
Eric H. May 17, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Well, I already did, but here's the message again: "Also, if someone wants to take up an issue with me, feel free to contact me. My phone number: (313) 583-9695 Texts are more appreciated as I ignore calls until I know who they're from."
Daniel Lai May 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM
We need to bring the conversation back to the topic the story addresses. Personal attacks on each other are inappropriate for this site. Please refrain.
John McKay (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I agree with Daniel. I am closing this comment thread for now, but you will have an opportunity to continue discussion on subsequent stories about this case. We just ask that you keep it civil, refrain from verbal attacks or threats and to stay on topic. Thank you!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something