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Marine Dad Denied Leave To See Sick Daughter

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WPIX: A member of the U.S. Marine Corps. has been denied the right to see his baby, who was born prematurely and now clinging to life, PIX News has learned.

Cristal Wagenhauser, 21, gave birth to Madison Rose on Oct. 3 at St. Catherine Siena Medical Center in Smithtown. The infant weighed less than three pounds and as a result was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit at Stony Brook University Medical Center for further medical attention.

Madison's father, Lance Cpl. Keith Wagenhauser, assigned to an overseas unit that reportedly stands ready to back up troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, wanted to see his baby. However he wasn't granted emergency leave, since, under standard military protocol, personal can only be temporarily released in cases of imminent or actual death in their immediate family.

According to doctors, though, Madison is in a very fragile state. The infant's attending physician, Dr. Sridhar Shanthy, said she spoke with Wagenhauser's superior officials by telephone last week and notified them that the baby's condition could deteriorate at any time and urged them to grant him emergency leave.

So far, Wagenhauser has been ordered to stay overseas until his deployment ends sometime this upcoming winter.

Cristal, who has moved back in with her parents at their Lindenhurst home, is devastated over the news. She said she would never be the same if something happened to Madison while her husband was away and never got the chance to see his own child.

For its part, the Marines issued a statement to PIX News, making it clear that Wagenhauser had the opportunity to engage in an off-ship phone call to speak with his wife after she gave birth.

In addition, military officials said they began exploring options to get Wagenhauser home to see his wife, but by the the time the ship was in close range of adequate transportation hubs, the command received word the child was in excellent condition.

The military agency said in order for Wagenhauser to be sent home to Long Island, he must notify the command and tell them circumstances have changed - something officials say - Wagenhauser has yet to do.

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Sara October 22, 2009, 6:20 AM

When the military won’t give you what you want go to the press to complain?

If there truly is an emergency situation then the military will send him home on emergency leave provided the family and the doctors follow protocol.

Nicole October 22, 2009, 6:35 AM

As a military spouse myself, who had a son born prematurely and with severe medical issues - this can be done.

Its not always the easiest thing in the world to get done, but with the proper Red Cross message Emergency leave can be gotten.

I have had to do it for my family, and no, the military doesn’t always grant it immediately.

Jenny October 22, 2009, 8:34 AM

My husband recently got out of them military and no the military will not always grant emergency leave regardless of what the doctors say and the protocol that is followed.

Robin October 22, 2009, 9:41 AM

I agree with Jenny, when my husband was in Iraq he never recieved his Red Cross messages. During his first tour he found out about his grandfather’s death a month later when he was able to call home and the only reason he found out when I went into labor during his second tour was because my first call was to FRG and the commanders wife. Neither Red Cross message EVER got delivered to him.

Lauren October 22, 2009, 11:05 AM

This is a joke, its a shame you cannot have a family..but ya kow what, its a choice, nothing was mandatory..sad for a little baby though

AREUKIDDINGME? October 22, 2009, 4:45 PM

THIS BABY is in stable condition - the babys health is said to be getting better!!!! he is a MARINE as a marine wife she should know better - does she even have a clue what it would take to get a guy off a ship to be there - we all understand as Marines wives this is what could happen there are 4 other girls on the same boat this happened too!

AREUKIDDINGME? October 22, 2009, 4:51 PM

AND THE ABOVE NUMBER WAS A GUESS - i dont know this girl or anything else about the situation but i know the marine corps and this happens every day and it happened when my husband was deployed and the marine wives banned together to help a new mom in need!!!

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