(Updated 11:06 a.m. Thursday with mother's side of the story) A Margaretta Township toddler was in the hospital Wednesday after eating a suspected ecstasy pill she found in her family’s home, Erie County Sheriff’s deputies said.
Ayana Ramon-Quintero, 2, was taken by ambulance to Firelands Regional Medical Center at about 12:40 p.m. after her mother, Randi Ramon, 26, called 911 from their home in Greenfield Village Mobile Home Park.
The girl remained in the hospital overnight, her mother said, and was expected to be discharged sometime Thursday. She's OK, Ramon said, and didn't seem to have any health problems related to the pill.
“The child’s fine,” Erie County Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Sigsworth said. “Hopefully, there will be no ill effects.”
In the recorded 911 call, Ramon is heard sobbing as she tells the dispatcher how she just found her daughter eating the pill.
“My sister was over here last night and she had brought some drugs with her,” Ramon is heard saying. “I told her to put them up because I don’t condone that (expletive). I don’t do that stuff.”
She then tells the dispatcher her daughter is still conscious and breathing.
She adds: “I don’t do that (expletive) any more.”
Deputies met Ramon at the hospital, where she told them her 22-year-old sister had a bag of ecstasy pills with her when she visited Tuesday night, a deputy’s report said.
“Ramon advised she told (her sister) to get that stuff out of her house and she thought she did that,” the report said.
Wednesday afternoon, the sister called Ramon and asked if she’d seen the pills, the report said. Ramon told deputies she searched for the pills but couldn’t find them.
“A short time later she observed (Ayana) sitting on the couch chewing on something,” the report said.
Ramon pulled a pink pill from her daughter’s mouth and called 911.
“Mom called and said the daughter had accidentally ingested what she thought was ecstasy,” Sigsworth said. “Charges may come once we determine exactly what was in that pill and we have a chance to sit down and talk to the sister.”
The sister, who has not been charged, told the Register the pills did not belong to her and she does not do drugs.
It’s still unknown if the pill was ecstasy, but it may indeed have been some type of narcotic, deputies said.
Deputies took fragments of the pill, which Ramon had pulled from her daughter’s mouth, and sent them to the state crime lab to be identified.
Ramon called the Register on Thursday morning to say that she's a single mom who's doing everything in her power to be a good mother and provider for her two children.
"It makes it seem like I'm a horribe mother," she said. "But that's not the truth."
She said she and her sister hang out a lot because they have children of similar ages, and that she "can't control my sister's every move."
Ramon said she keeps her own medication bottles up on a high shelf out of reach of her children, and the only candy her children are able to have right now are Dumdum suckers.
"I'm a good mom and I don't do these things," she said, adding that as soon as she saw something in her daughter's mouth she called 911 and was up front and honest with authorities.
"It obviously wasn't a sucker," she said. "I was concerned more about getting my daughter (to the hospital) and making sure she's OK than anything else."
Ecstasy is a synthetic, psychoactive drug similar to methamphetamine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
It’s popular as a “club drug” as it effects mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep and sensitivity to pain. It increases heart rate and blood pressure and, sometimes, it can cause death.
The drug would effect a child much as it would an adult, said Dr. Lolita McDavid, director of child advocacy and protection at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.
“But the things like anxiety and depersonalization, a child isn’t going to be able to tell us that,” McDavid said.
In short, ecstasy is a dangerous, mind-altering drug.
“It’s going to rev you up,” McDavid said. “The problem is, when you want off of it, you can’t get off of it.”
Most concerning to McDavid, however, is the fact a child was somehow exposed to the drug.
“Ecstasy is a street drug,” McDavid said. “We’re not talking about the kid getting into grandma’s diabetes medication or the sibling’s Ritalin.
“This is a child who clearly is not supervised,” McDavid said. “It should not be anywhere in the reach of a child.”
Ramon said her children are well supervised and that she'd only run back quickly to put in a load of laundry.
"It's impossible to have your eyes on your child, when you're a single mother, 24/7," she said. "I'm doing the best I can with what I've got right now."
Deputies are still investigating the incident and children’s social workers are also getting involved, the deputy’s report said.