They called him a gladiator — locked in the fight of his life. For his life.
A battle to breathe in. To breathe out.
On Friday, worn out with the effort, Jared Patton finally lost that battle.
He died in the arms of his doting grandmother, his "Nina," Kathy Stowe.
He was 3 years old.
"It's one of the things we prayed for the hardest — 'Don't let it be in an emergency situation where they were sticking needles in him and his being afraid.' So it was just as it should be. The person that cared for him 24 hours a day — that's where he was. He loved his Nina."
To say it was reciprocal is understatement. From the moment his grandparents took him in as an infant, Jared became the axis of their lives. Born healthy, Jared was violently shaken by his father, his brain battering against his skull till portions of it died off.
He was then 6 weeks old.
That's when his battle began. Against devastating brain trauma rendering him so disabled he would never walk, talk or grasp a toy. Against cerebral palsy, scoliosis, partial blindness and severe sleep disorder. Consigned to a crib, stomach tubes, trachea tubes and loving arms that tended him 'round the clock for as long as he needed them.
Today, the Stowes plan to meet with the Williamsburg- James City County Commonwealth's Attorney's office about filing additional charges against Jared's father.
David Curtis Patton had earlier been convicted of abusing Jared and is serving five years.
Sandy Conyers, the Williamsburg-James City prosecutor who handled David Patton's case in 2007, said further charges would be considered now that Patton's son, Jared, has died.
Conyers said the commonwealth's attorney's office is awaiting a medical examiner's report on Jared's death.
"We haven't received anything yet regarding the cause of death," Conyers said Tuesday. "Any further charges will depend on the cause of death."