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An 18-month-old Charleston, S.C., toddler is in critical condition, after police investigators say he was beaten by three teens as he hung upside down by his ankles in a closet.

The child’s mother, Shakera Suncelaree Wright (pictured), 18, told the Department of Social Services (DSS) case workers that she was visiting friend Tyrek Varnes, 16, at his home. Varnes had two other friends, a 14- and 15-year-old visiting him as well (the younger teens have not been identified due to their age).

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Reportedly, the youth were “play wrestling” with the young victim, Louis. Wright saw the kids pummeling her son, hitting him repeatedly in the stomach and chest, and told police and DSS that she told the kids to stop when she felt the child had endured enough.

Later, on the night of the alleged “play wrestling,” Wright put her child in bed with Varnes and then went to the adjoining room, which belonged to the teen’s twin sister, to sleep. The following morning, Varnes’ mother woke her son up and he left for school. When Wright checked on Louis, she noticed that he looked dazed. The mom said, “He looked like he wanted to die.”

After repeated attempts to get the toddler to come around, Wright contacted her son’s father, who advised her to call for an ambulance. When the child arrived at the hospital, he was already suffering respiratory distress. Louis was immediately moved to the intensive care unit of the hospital, and there, attending physicians noticed pronounced bruising throughout his torso.

When doctors performed a CAT scan on the toddler, they discovered five rib fractures, air and blood in his thorax, multiple lacerations of his liver, spleen and pancreas. The child was in shock, and the scan also showed that he had suffered a skull fracture at some point, but they could not determine when it had occurred.

After reviewing the results of the scan, the physicians promptly called police and DSS.

Interestingly enough, the police report also revealed that Wright had told Louis’ grandmother, she did not know how he had sustained his bruises, and she even speculated that he might have just fallen and hurt himself.

Wright and Varnes, along with the 14- and- 15-year-old teens were all charged with infliction or allowing infliction to great bodily injury to a child. Varnes was charged as an adult, and he also confessed everyone’s role in the toddler’s abuse to police.

The felony charge carries a 20-year sentence if they are all convicted.

There are so many questions to be answered in this incident: Wright is said to have put the toddler in Varnes’ bed. Why would she do that? Varnes is not identified as the father. He is just identified as some random friend.

I’ll ask again: Why would a mother leave her child in the bed of a “friend.” What responsiblie mother does that? I guess the operative word here is “responsible.” Wright just witnessed these fools inappropriately play-fighting with her child. That wasn’t enough?

Here is what I want to know: Will this child be rehabilitated? Will he speak properly, walk properly. Will he read? Will he play? Will he laugh? Will he breathe? Can this child just live? What future, if he makes it, is waiting for this child? Tell me why this child’s spirit even wants to stick around. Tell me.

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