Suffolk County Correctional Facility
A special boy with special needs, Thomas Valva was 2 going on 3 years old when he spoke his first words.
“‘Ball’ and ‘go,’” speech pathologist Kim Taylor told The Daily Beast on Monday. “So those were the first words with me and I believe to his mom, too. We were really thrilled with his progress.”
She remembered Thomas seemed equally pleased.
“The smiles! He was so happy, he really was,” Taylor remembered.
Taylor figured the remarkable progress was due at least in part to a remarkable presence.
“His mother,” Taylor said. “He was really, really loved.”Now, just under six years later, Thomas lay in a funeral home and Taylor faced going to Friday’s wake. The boy’s father had somehow gotten custody of Thomas and kept it despite repeated warnings from the mother. And the words everybody remembered were the mocking ones police say his father uttered while the boy was dying from hypothermia.“He keeps face-planting on the concrete,” the father, New York City Police Officer Michael Valva, said of Thomas, according to prosecutors.The concrete was the floor of the unheated Long Island garage where detectives say Thomas’ father forced him to sleep without bedding as the temperature dropped to 19 degrees.“You know why he’s falling,” the father’s live-in girlfriend, Angela Pollina, allegedly said.“Because he’s cold,” the father allegedly replied. “Boo fucking hoo.”As the whole country was horrified by those ghoulish utterances, Taylor was remembering those first syllables that were a testament to the boy’s mother. Taylor had worked with […]