Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our Story

Hello,

My wife, Linda and I are reaching out to you for help. We have two children, a 2 year old girl who is in perfect health, and our now 1 year old son, who are in danger of being wrongfully taken by Child Protective services. Here is how we ended up where we are:

On November 8th, 2011 we noticed my son was feeling some pain and was running a low grade fever (100.2). I called an advice nurse that my wife's insurance provided. She recommended that we go to the ER because My son was only 5 weeks old at the time and when they're that young and running a fever you need to make sure they're okay. We went to the Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, OR and saw a doctor there. The triage nurse did an evaluation, noting that there were no bruises, swelling, or any external abnormalities, and the nurse even notes that all four extremities are moving strongly and equally. The ER Doctor performed a hip check and saw that the legs were pulled up tightly towards the abdomen. He explained that sometimes when babies have abdominal pain they'll pull their legs in tightly. Note that when the doctor manipulated My son's legs he let out a very loud scream, quite unlike we had heard before. The doctor ordered an x-ray to view My son's abdomen and hips. My wife left because we had quickly run to the ER, and while there our son dirtied his outfit and my wife had to find replacement clothes. I stayed and the x-ray technician came in to take some x-rays. At one point while we were moving My son the x-ray technician looked at me in a confused way and asked if the doctor had mentioned anything about My son's left leg. I replied that he hadn't. The technician left after taking his initial x-rays, and came back a half hour later to take specific pictures of the leg. He then came in again one more time to take a clearer picture of the leg. My wife had returned and the Doctor came in and told us that our son had a spiral femur fracture (We later learned that it was actually an oblique fracture and not a spiral). The doctor informed us that as protocol he had to notify the authorities and an investigation would take place. (It was also noted that he had gaseous distention from the x-rays)

We spoke to the police officer that came to see us and explained that there hadn't been anything traumatic that happened. Nobody dropped him, no one fell with him, nothing happened. While we spoke to the police officer we mentioned we came in because our son was having abdominal pain, thought to be bad gas, and a low grade fever. We mentioned that he had no bruises (which was confirmed by a nurse that was in the room at the time) and we told him we had no idea there was a fracture. My son was only mildly more fussy than normal, and as long as he was eating he was okay. The night before we also noticed a fever and we went to the store so he could have baby Tylenol and Gripe Water (Natural medicine to reduce gas). This seemed to work as it lowered his temp and calmed him down.

Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, OR was notified. Their EMT crew and a pediatrician arrived and wrapped up My son's leg. My son was transferred there in an ambulance with my wife. I had to run home and pick up some things for My son, and then I drove out there myself. While in the ambulance my wife was able to hear a pediatrician and an EMT discuss that they thought this was abuse and that it was only protocol to bring a parent. When they arrived at Doernbecher, a complete trauma workup was completed on My son. It was noted again that there were no bruises, swelling, lesions, abrasions, and that My son was content beyond his leg. It was noted that My son had extra cartilage on his skull but it was not trauma related. My son showed no symptoms of being in any pain or distress, though he did have a low grade fever. My wife had been advised to ask the ER doctor what could cause such injuries in an infant and was told that "It was either child abuse or you're lying (about there being no accident)." My son was sent to have a head CT done immediately. His results came back perfectly normal. There was no bleeding on the brain, no hemorrhaging, no skull fractures, or signs of trauma. My wife requested that a new doctor be placed with My son after the encounter with the previous doctor, and was given an advanced resident to look over My son. A full blood workup was run, including a spinal tap, to check for infection because of his low grade fever. My son, minus the blood drawing, remained content, fed well, and soothed easily. It was very hard for the doctors to draw blood from our son, and it took quite a lot of time for them to finally get anything, causing my son great pain in the process. On the spinal tap, on of the residents missed the spinal fluid and hit a vein, causing blood to become mixed in with the spinal fluid. They also took new x-rays while in the Doernbecher ER.

We were eventually moved to an inpatient room. They tried to draw more blood during the night, but they didn't tell us what the blood was being drawn for. We were also informed not to feed our son throughout the night so they could reset the bone, and he cried through the night in hunger pains. Despite all this, he wasn't given any medication because he was still soothing himself. The room was very cold at night, yet My son maintained a high temperature and was even sweating. In the morning a new nurse came in and said we could feed My son. They took a full skeletal survey in the morning where they noted the an acute left femoral diaphysis angulated oblique fracture, Age-indeterminate bilateral distal femoral, probable left and right proximal tibia metaphyseal corner fractures, probable age-indeterminate left proximal humeral metaphyseal corner fracture, probable partially healed proximal right tibia and fibula fracture, and healing bilateral rib fractures (Probably three). Note, the only fully confirmed fracture has been the left femur fracture and an age-indeterminate posterior rib fracture. This is also the point where they say it was on oblique fracture and not a spiral. A doctor came in to look at My son's eyes. She saw no retinal hemorrhaging, but noticed a mild discoloration in his eyes. She called in a superior who also noted that there was nothing wrong with his eyes, but that he did have mild discoloration. Again, My son was only 5 weeks old at the time. My son had seen many different doctors in this time, all noting that he look healthy an happy. My son had been in for a 1 week check, 2 week check, at about 3 1/2 weeks he was circumcised, he had visited the hospital twice because he was jaundice, and Linda's midwife had also seen him during one of her post birth visits the day before we went to the hospital.

They attempted to draw more blood, and continued to be unsuccessful, taking a full second day to gather the blood needed to send out for the Osteogenesis Imperfecta test and other tests. He was still on no medication until they decided to put an IV in his head where they used morphine. They took an abdominal CT because My son had high liver enzymes, but his CT came back perfectly normal. He was put into a Pavlik harness to help heal his femur fracture. A CPS worker, a detective, and a police captain, interviewed me, my wife, and my wife's parents. Everything we have said has been consistent. There hasn't been any trauma, and certainly no abuse. There have been no criminal charges filed either.

We had to appear in court for an emergency hearing. I had already obtained a lawyer but my wife hadn't had time yet. During the hearing the judge seemed to want to give us both of our children back. But child protective services lied and said there was liver damage and listed all fractures as fact, rather than possibilities. The judge reluctantly had My son put into a "Medical" foster home, while allowing us to keep our daughter (As long as we were in sight and sound of Linda's parents with our daughter).

It has been almost 3 months so far, and CPS continues to hold our son, and is attacking our parenting skills and the well being of both of our children. We have 3 1-hour visits a week with our son, and in the last month we discovered that our son now has an umbilical hernia. We asked that he be taken to see a doctor, but they informed us they had another appointment set up for his two month check and will have it looked at than. We have since discovered that our son does have low calcium, low vitamin D, high alkaline phosphatase. We have looked into many different possibilities, including OI, Rickets, TBBD, and other diseases that could have caused this. The OI test came back negative, but there are other options. Our son is Very big. At his two month check he weighed 15lbs and was 23 1/2 inches tall. Linda also had a rough pregnancy. We discovered that Linda has a retroverted uterus, and that My son was born at 41 5/7 weeks by induction with pitocin. My son had severe shoulder dystocia at birth, and had an initial apgar score of 3, taking a full minute to even breath. During late pregnancy My son was unable to move much, but certainly was noticeable due to his large size. My son only moved at night when Linda was able to lay flat, especially during the third trimester. His birth weight was 9lbs 7oz and 21 1/2 inches. 

We started the Judicial Hearing Process on January 5th. The hearings were held on the 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 18th. The problem with this process is that it is held in the Juvenile Courts and rather than using "Beyond a reasonable doubt" they use "Preponderance of Evidence" which refers to balancing the evidence, and whichever side is over the 50% mark wins the case. We clearly should have had more than enough evidence to prove that we had not abused our son. Firstly, it was made clear that the hospital had lost blood tests, including a very important vitamin D, phosphorus, ionized calcium, and the PTH tests, all vital for diagnosing Rickets. They also noted elevated liver enzymes related to bone breaks which were elevated even higher after our son was in foster care, after declining to a normal level at the hospital. We had Dr. David Ayoub testify that he could see from the radiological evidence that My son had neonatal rickets. Dr. Ayoub even had images taken directly from My son's X-rays and CT scans to show these signs. The state provided numerous medical witnesses, and each of these witnesses, except Dr. Valvano (A Child abuse Expert who has been certified by American Board of Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics since 2009), had admitted that if My son had a medical condition of bone fragility that it could explain his fractures. It was also noted that My son had no bleeding on the brain, no subdural bleeding, no retinal hemorrhaging, no bruising, no swelling, no internal organ damage, no brain damage, no cuts or lesions, and no tissue damage. The only thing noted were the unexplained bone fractures. It was even noted in court that there was very likely a new rib fracture after our son was placed in foster care. In fact, there was even a physician's assistant who noted that if My son did have bone fragility he could have accidentally broken My son's ribs during a routine well baby check. Dr. Shaver, The ER doctor who saw My son when we brought him to the hospital still can't give a clear answer about whether or not he broke My son's femur, and when asked on the stand said "I don't believe I did." rather than a simple yes or no. The pediatrician who is currently seeing our son was even confused why they were calling this abuse when there clearly were other things that needed to be looked at first, and recommended that My son see and endocrinologist. There were two doctors who testified that the fact that all of the normal signs of abuse were missing should have dramatically lowered the likelihood of abuse on the differential diagnosis. But the State recalled two of their medical witnesses to discredit Dr. Ayoub's work simply because his current study hadn't been published in a peer reviewed journal yet. So the Judge erred on the side of caution and adjudicated my wife and I of abusing our son. We also have a Daughter who lives at home with us who is in perfect health. Both our children have never missed a doctor's appointment, and we have numerous friends that see our kids regularly who are mandatory reporters. We didn't abuse our son, and they shouldn't be able to take our son like this without reasonable cause. The next step that my attorney has said is to try and get My son home at the disposition hearing and try and find doctors to see our son in person to prove we weren't lying from the start. We are looking for people who are willing to help us in this manner with advice and support. This is a Nightmare for us.

We Need our story passed on. So please repost and spread the word about this huge injustice to all your friends and family. We cannot let this error go unnoticed. Even the CASA worker is against us because their theory is that if you cannot explain what happened then it must be abuse. Cases like this are happening all over the country, even in Canada and Europe. There is a movement starting to fight for a change. Please help fight for those families torn apart by false allegations. Spread the word, and research disease such as rickets, neonatal rickets, and osteopenia. Thank You.

Even in their own paperwork they refer to us as good parents with great parenting skills. They took away our son's first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July, His sister's birthday, and now his own birthday. They are kidnappers, and they only destroy happy families. Every day our daughter asks if we get to see him, and every day she cries when she doesn't, or when we have to leave at our visits.