Mother sparks debate after posting TikTok of dance routine next to sick baby in hospital

·2-min read
TikTok user Whit Leavitt in a since deleted video  (TikTok/@whitleavitt/Twitter/@chaiconsumer)
TikTok user Whit Leavitt in a since deleted video (TikTok/@whitleavitt/Twitter/@chaiconsumer)

A Utah mother has sparked a debate on social media after she shared a video of a dance routine next to her ill newborn son on TikTok.

Whitney Leavitt, the woman in the video, appeared in the TikTok next to her newborn son, who she explained was suffering from a respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

She wrote in the since-deleted video: “Lil lee (or Liam) was taken in cause of oxygen. He tested positive for RSV”.

“Waiting for him to breathe better on his own,” she added, while Kendrick Lamar’s2017 hit single Love played in the background.

The video appeared to have been shared in response to somebody who asked the woman: “Sending prayers...but what happened? I’m so confused”.

It is no longer available on her TikTok account, where she had earlier documented her pregnancy with Liam, who was born on 4 December.

The TikTokker, who has more than 477,000 followers on the social media platform, said in another TikTok that she was aware she made people upset and apologised.

“I understand that people are upset with the video that I made,” she said in an emotional video shared to social media on Sunday.

“I just want to be clear and communicate that that was me just trying to be positive. I think it’s important to not just assume what someone is going through,” the mother continued.

“Anyways, I took the video down because I could see where somebody could get the wrong idea. But that honestly was just me just trying to be positive in this situation.”

She was accused of trivialising her son’s illness on Twitter, with one person writing: “Because if this isn’t a sign that this child is going to be neglected in favour of TikTok fame I don’t know what is.”

“What bothers me even more”, another wrote, “is the fact that she has no tears when announcing publicly that her baby’s life is in danger but then there is plenty when she makes a video feeling sorry for herself that people misunderstood her.”

Others meanwhile took to her defence and argued: “Obviously her smiling and dancing is a front and not how she actually feels.”

“It’s a lot harder to share when you’re talking to a camera about your kid nearly died, easy to do a silly dance and add captions later,” the Twitter user added.

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