6/5/13 Dear Senator Steve O’Ban District 28 R & Dear Senator Pam Roach District 31 R,

Anne Giroux

P.O. Box 65606

University Place, WA 98464

June 5, 2013

 

Senator Steve O’Ban District 28 R ( individually addressed  &  mailed )

Senator Pam Roach District 31 R ( individually addressed  &  mailed )

112 Irv Newhouse Building

PO Box 40431

Olympia, WA 98504-0431

 

 

Dear Senator Steve O’Ban District 28 R  and  Senator Pam Roach District 31 R,

 

My children and I are victims of injustice and harm brought to us by the wrongful actions of CPS by physicians after a medical error/wrong diagnosis resulting in a heart attack, open heart surgery, and a surgical procedure for what I was told, cardiac tamponaude.  A court ordered parenting plan with history of domestic violence and order of supervised visitation only after DV recommendations was not followed by CPS when the father with DV history was contacted and our children forced into his care. (I am attaching 4 separate documents including a few chronological CPS/ DV incidences.)  Our experience with CPS has caused my family to become aware of the need for CPS/Family Law Reform. The system as can obliterate families and children simply because it has the power to do so and that is concerning. Children deserve better and children are the future. Families deserve better. And historically, parents in children’s lives have been one of unquestioned value, celebrated in cultures around the world.

The heart of Washington States future is made by the hearts of Washington State Senators today, please set our children and families free and allow the future of our state to appreciate. Thank you ahead of time for taking the time for reading our experiences in hopes no mother and child should ever have to experience what we have.  My children wrote their experiences on their own, and my son even wrote his first legal defense in high school for his first day at dependency court. He was able to identify thesis as munchausesen , stated only 4 out of the 25 had anything to do with the thesis and punched holes in them all , in a manner of speaking. His attorney and judge were impressed and stated he was going to be a future attorney. It should also be known while in CPS a social worker asked my son what did he want to see come out of all this and he responding by saying better laws so this doesn’t happen again to other children and if physicians do not want to take care of their patients they should not become physicians.

My children have already shared their experiences in a California rally for audit of CPS and reform, it should be known, and this was by personal invitation of a congressman and others. However, it should also be known, such a heart’s desire was already visible in the hearts of my children while in CPS; therefore nobody should blame others when children want to be heard. I am pleased to say that audit was approved today, June 5, 2013 so now Orange County is one of the three counties selected. It’s time for Washington State to pull back the curtains and start saving our children and families. I am going to also share our personal experiences to the president of the United States in regards to the issues with CPS and in Washington State for the purpose of national recognition for increased support of better laws and CPS / Family Law Reform.  Thank you for allowing our family to share our ideas with you and the children have their own ideas of what could be helpful, however, I wrote out the suggested recommendations as the highest priority. If you are interested in the children’s perspectives of better laws or guidelines please let us know, they would be more than pleased and willing to share, especially my son.

 

My Experience with CPS

By Kevin 16 years old

I was taken into CPS custody on November 16th 2012. The night of Nov. 15-16th was when the police and ambulance and arrived at my house at about 7-10pm-ish. A couple hours before this, my mom called my cardiologist office because I was having chest pain and shortness of breath. The doctor that was on call to answer was Dr. PXXX. He played a big part in my whole CPS experience. Dr. PXXX said that I am fine from a cardiac standpoint but if I am having shortness of breath, I should go to the ER. After talking to him, my mom asked me how I felt. I was feeling better so I didn’t need to go to the ER.

Several hours later

I heard a knock on the door and my mom asked “Who is it?” They said it was the police here to do a welfare check because the hospital has been waiting for us to come there. My first thought was like what. What is this? I thought it was just a misunderstanding. We let them in to “see how things were going”. They asked me if I was in any pain, and I said just a little bit. They asked if it was ok for me to get evaluated by the paramedics, I said fine. The paramedics evaluated me and said everything was stable but that I should get checked out by the ER. I was extremely exhausted at this time because I JUST got out of the hospital for pericarditis/pericardial effusion (inflammation of the sac around my heart, pericardium/fluid around my heart). I was not feeling like I needed to be checked out so I told them no. But then they said “well you kinda have to”. The paramedics said the hospital sent them to get me. By this point I was getting really tired and just about as dumbfounded as possible. I wanted the police and paramedics to just leave me alone, I let them evaluate the situation just to get them to leave without any altercations, but now they crossed the line. I said I don’t want to go but they said I have to. I was really frustrated, I just wanted to rest not go to the hospital unnecessarily. After about ten minutes of me trying to not go with them, I gave up and got my jacket and went on their stretcher, unknowingly it would have been the biggest mistake of my life.

At the hospital

My mom and I arrived at Mxxx Bxxxxx  ER and it was weird. I don’t remember this part as much because it all took place during the night and I went 24 hours plus, without sleep and I was really angry and sad, but here it goes. They put me in the room and left. Then finally the doctor came in and asked why I was being seen. I told him I was forced to come here. Then a social worker came in named BXXXX, and oh did she have a problem. Bxxx or the doctor told me that Dr. PXXX said I need to be here because I have a medical emergency. When they said that, that’s what flipped the switch inside my head. Right there I knew someone was being a big fat liar because I knew I didn’t have a medical emergency and that Dr. PXXX said I was fine himself. From there, I told BXXXX and the doctor I wanted to go home and they said I can’t and that I have two choices: To be admitted here in MXXX BXXXXX Children’s Hospital or to be transferred to SXXXXXX Children’s Hospital for tests. At this point I’m trying to put the pieces together in my head of what is going on because I know something is very wrong but I have no idea what. I asked them what kind of tests? They wouldn’t answer. And I kept questioning what was going on because it was not adding up. Then BXXXX and the doctor started getting really mad at me and started saying “No stop, you have to make a decision. You have to make a decision! Right now!” I told them I needed more time to think about it but they persisted to nag me asking that over and over. I just wanted to go home and sleep. Dang.

With no help yet

My mom called a family friend to come to the hospital. She was actually with me at our house when the paramedics forced me to go with them to the hospital. She arrived but Bxxx said “I don’t feel like it’s a good time for you to have visitors”. She wouldn’t let our friend come back here and I asked her why and that was her only reason. Whenever she was stumped of what to say, she would say I have to make a decision of what to do. She asked me why I want a visitor and I said to help me figure out how to get out of the hospital. Her tone was really angry and she smiled while she said everything. Like a wicked kind of smile. She even threatened to call CPS if we do not cooperate. (Weird, cause they already did, which I will get to). Then the doctor put me on a medical hold because I had a medical emergency apparently. I knew this was all a lie so we called 911 from my hospital room and said I was being forced to stay here for no reason. The policeman showed up and the doctor and BXXX looked mad that I called 911. They had a long talk outside the room with the policeman before he got to talk to me. The policeman said I basically have to do what they say. I asked him if I can sue them for putting me in a medical hold for no reason. He said technically yes, but it would be very hard to prove that I was wrongfully put in a medical hold. I could tell that he thought that there must be something wrong for me to be in a hold but in my mind, I knew there was not. That was enough hope for me to know that what they are doing won’t go without punishment. It was enough for me to not give up and just listen to what everyone is telling me. Then the policeman pretty much said I have to make a decision and then he left. So now I know people are doing illegal things so I call Dr. PXXX. I page him telling him that the doctor said HE said I have a medical emergency and that they won’t let me leave the ER.

Next the truth came out

When I called Dr. PXXX, he actually came to the hospital. He then told me that he never said I have a medical emergency and that I’m fine. Next, he said that CPS was contacted and the plan was, the next time I set foot into a doctor’s office, hospital or any medical place that I was supposed to be taken in CPS custody. He also said the plan was for me to be transferred to SXXXXXX Children’s Hospital but since I was being “difficult” that we will take you right now. Dr. PXXX said “I have nothing to do with this, I was just told to come and tell you this.” He repeatedly said he has nothing to do with this (which later I found out he has a lot to do with this). I asked him what this was about, the CPS complaints. He said he cannot say but that CPS has gotten several complaints from different people. At this moment, I’m pretty much in detective mode and it hasn’t sunk in that I’m about to get taken away from my family by people who have been extremely dismissive and not very helpful in my medical care. My mom asked if she will ever see me again and Dr. PXXX said he does not know. After I was done asking Dr. PXXX more questions he said my mom needs to leave now. Then it all set in. I’m not the kind of person who’s afraid of being alone, or away from my family but this was different. I don’t know why but I pretty much broke down. I started crying, not from pain but because I was sad. And I rarely cry. Only when in extreme pain for long periods of time. Dr. PXXX said I can have five minutes alone with my mom first, before she had to leave.

The sadness begins

At this point it was about 7:30 A.M. and I was missing school now but that was the least of my worries. So I hugged my mom and then she left with security hovering around. It was the saddest moment in my entire life. I’m not joking at all or exaggerating. I felt like a part of me was ripped out and that I couldn’t breathe and that I was going to puke and faint. I really felt sick. An agitated-sad feeling. It is a really unique feeling that I never felt before, it’s like the ultimate sad you can ever feel. I was crying for a long time and I couldn’t sleep because of it. The emotions I was feeling, the best way to describe it is like one of those dreams where everyone is against you and there’s no way out and no hope. Even then, I can’t describe it, that’s just the best comparison I can think of. It’s like its own feeling. Eventually I cried myself to sleep.

When I woke up

I was still in my room in the ER. I was just in here, no tests were being done like the doctor said needed to be. And now my chest pain settled in. It wasn’t off and on, it was constant and worse then yesterday. Now is when I would go to the ER because I can tell there’s a reason too. But yesterday was totally uncalled for, to bring me here. I saw breakfast was in my room but I didn’t feel good enough to eat or do anything. I just sat in a chair by the door to my room for a couple hours. I was really sad still and crying more. Then I pretty much was just sitting in the chair. I was just listening to everything going on outside my room. I heard other kids being taken away from CPS. I was like “no way”. It was shocking, that this happens to other kids too. I even remember what someone said to the kid (I have a bunch of text messages of things that were going on at the time). Someone said “Isn’t it cool? You get to go in a police car!” That made me sick because how they were trying to make something so bad seem good. Maybe that kid had an actual reason to be in CPS custody, I don’t know, but it’s just something I observed. Then finally someone comes into my room. She said she was from CPS and she sat down and talked with me. She asked me a lot of questions but couldn’t tell me why they were doing this. The social worker asked me what school my sister goes to. I was suspicious so I asked if they were going to take her too. She said no because “she didn’t have a serious medical condition like me and I can just find where she goes to school anyway”. I told her then. Then she said my dad was coming for me to live with him.  She said it was either him or I go into a random family. I chose my dad because I knew him better than a complete stranger. She then left.

When my dad arrived

He came in my ER room which I was still just “in there”. He told me he had nothing to do with CPS or as he said it “I had nothing to do with this!”. That was one of the first things he said when he came in my room, oddly. Then my dad was told he can’t take me because of a parenting plan saying he can only have supervised visits because of domestic violence and him choking me when I was younger. My dad then went to the courthouse and tried to quickly change the parenting plan but they closed before he finished. So then I went to live with his mom, to me was a big decision (I’m not really fond of her, she’s pretty “different” you could say). I almost went with the choice of foster care but I figured, she’s old so I should be ok. So his mom came and picked me up from the ER. But first JXXX the nurse and Dr. PXXX (from my cardiologist office) came in and talked with them and me about my medical history. And remember I was having chest pains at this time. They told my grandmother not to take me to the ER or doctor unless I’m blue or my pain is a 10/10. Dr. PXXX knew I was already in pain, he said just take ibuprofen. Ibuprofen never works enough but I was too weak from everything that was happening and in physical pain to stand up for myself and ask for something stronger. So then we went to her house.

Over the weekend

I was taken on a Friday so the three day holding period ends on Wednesday because they only count business days. That sucked. Throughout the weekend I just cried more and more pretty much. My dad came over a lot to her house and was there often. I’ve never cried so much before, and it wasn’t just lazy crying. I had a really cruel feeling of sad if that even makes sense. Felt empty and hopeless and in pain. My chest pain increased through the weekend. I started radiating through my shoulder and arm and back. It was hurting to breathe. But it wasn’t a 10/10 pain. And I was scared to go back to the doctor anyway after what they did. But I knew I had to. Then Saturday night I went to bed. I’ve been taking Tylenol and ibuprofen around the clock. I woke up four hours into sleeping with surging pain up my neck. I couldn’t get out of my bed it hurt too bad. I had a moment of like “I’m screwed”. But I just pushed through the pain and got up and got Tylenol on the dresser next to me and took it. It was enough to get back to bed. When I awoke, I was just sitting all day. I didn’t do anything. It hurt to move and walk and breathe and lay down. Extremely bad, I remember I told my grandmother and she said I shouldn’t be in this much pain but the doctor told her not to bring me. In my head I was disgusted by CPS and my doctors. They knew I had real health issues and they are just throwing me away. I feel sick in my throat remembering this weekend. I endured so much pain, it’s crazy.

The next day

Luckily today on Monday, I already had a scheduled a follow up appointment a while ago with my primary cardiologist Dr. MXXXXXXXX. I was looking forward for today all weekend. I was really bad today. I couldn’t walk more than ten feet without needing to rest from pain and exhaustion. After help from my grandmother I got into the car and we drove off. When I made it into their office I collapsed into their couch. Then I was called back and had a bunch of tests. Dr. MXXXXXXX reviewed them and he said I had pericarditis, pericardial effusion, pleural effusion, pneumonia and I also had a 104.2 fever. I was relieved to finally get help. That all means is inflammation around my heart and fluid around my heart and lungs. Dr. MXXXXXXX has always helped me while Dr. PXXX has a more “it’s likely anything other than an actual problem” approach. To think if I didn’t have this appointment scheduled, I would have probably died. That’s actually not an exaggeration. When a pericardial effusion isn’t treated, it starts to crush your heart. And then you die. I’ve had a big enough pericardial effusion where I needed to be put to sleep and had it drained before to know that it’s very possible to die from not being treated. I was put on medicine to help me and then rested for the rest of the day.

The first court meeting

The day before the first court hearing (if that’s what it’s called), the social worker from CPS said I don’t get to go and “tomorrow isn’t for Kevin”. I argued cause I knew was allowed to go and I wanted an attorney and stuff. But in the end she changed her mind and I got to go. When I was there I saw my little sister Christin with my dad. It was the biggest “what the heck, no way” moment I ever had. They obviously took my sister just like they said they wouldn’t! My sister was crying. I went to her and we went into court sitting side by side. In court, it was pretty dumb. The judge said that there was too many allegations for me to be put back with my mom yet. So I didn’t get to go home and now my sister got to not be at home with me. At court I got a list of the allegations. It was sad, and by sad I mean pathetic. To name a few, it said I never had a heart attack, my mom is difficult to deal with, my mom makes up my symptoms etc. I finally understood what was going on. The doctors who complained to CPS just can’t handle a patient who has a “not in textbook” problem. I later wrote up my own response to the allegations.

The week with my sister

We shared a room and we basically helped each other out more than usual. We both knew we were sad but we kinda stayed strong for one another. During this week I had an episode of SVT (supraventricular tachycardia). This is when my heart rate randomly goes up to about 225 and just stays there. It’s not good and it causes quite a lot of disorientation and discomfort. Being in an episode for too long is bad because you can go into heart failure. My grandmother called the doctor asking what to do, Dr. PXXX said to wait 15 mins. and if it hasn’t gone away to take me into the ER. It didn’t go away even when I did maneuvers to try and break it. I went into the car with Christin and waited for my grandmother to come. She took a long time. She called the doctor back, then my dad, then her own doctor. Finally I got the ER after about an hour in this episode. A lot of people came into my room. They were acting fast. I got two IV injections because the first one didn’t work to break the SVT. Then we were discharged. I don’t remember (still in this week though) when but when I went to my cardiologist for a follow up, Jody the nurse thought I purposely didn’t take my medicine to “make something happen” so I could go back to my mom faster. So she said someone needs to monitor my medication and sign when I take it. It was dumb but I just thought whatever they want to do, I just want to go home. My real home with my family. Oh and Christin and I missed Thanksgiving but it my older sister (she’s 21 so she didn’t get taken) and mom said they were going to wait until we get back to have Thanksgiving.

The next court meeting

I got an attorney and I showed her my response to the allegations and she was impressed on my organization and thought process. I’ve been researching a lot online of what to do in these situations, I couldn’t find much of what a child could do. But I needed to make sure I made an effort and did everything possible so I don’t arrive at court with any regrets. So I wrote that response, not sure if it would affect anything. Amazingly it did. My attorney thought I was really bright and showed the judge this and they were both impressed. At this court date, my sister got to go home but not me. They said my grandmother couldn’t handle me anymore so they were giving me to my dad. CPS said if I stay with my dad for two weeks I could go home. So I agreed. It was set up so my dad would drive me to school in the mornings which he lived about 40 mins away from my school and after school my mom would pick me up and then I would be with her until my dad got off work and then he would pick me up. It was pointless in my eyes and still is. If my mom was any threat to me, then why was I allowed to be with her alone? And there’s a parenting plan saying I can’t be alone with my dad and I was also. Their decisions contradict themselves and existing information. It was crazy annoying because whenever I questioned it to a CPS social worker they would never answer me! They would say some random generalized statement that wasn’t helpful at all! Like “well this is just what we have to do for now “or like “this is just the easiest way and you know, yeah”. Ugh.

Next two weeks with my dad

I didn’t mention yet but through this whole experience, I had a lot of visits from social workers. Always asking the same questions. But anyway, when one of them came over at my dad’s, they said someone told them I’ve been recording people. I was just thinking “you’re serious? Oh and did I forget to put my dinosaur back in his cage too?” Both CPS and medical professionals were getting desperate to make it look like me or my moms are doing bad things. Jody said I don’t take my meds (I DO take them correctly) because I’m trying to make it look like my mom isn’t the problem which she is not. And now the CPS social worker said someone told them I’ve been recording someone? I don’t even understand. I haven’t. And I’m clueless to how someone could come to that conclusion. So that’s just an example of my experience with social workers. My dad is suspicious to me. I believe he had a part to do with CPS and me getting taken away but this a different story. I don’t like my dad.

Finally

At the next court date, I got to go home. I went home on December 11th 2012 I believe. But the case wasn’t closed. This was a “test trial”. They made use do a bunch of services like home health nurse and some guy counseling family thing that I don’t remember. And my mom wasn’t allowed to give me my medicine. So my mom’s mom gave me my medicine. It felt good to be home. My mom said my cat has been sitting on my empty bed every day. My cat missed me. It’s cool, whenever I have a pericarditis flare up, my cat sits next to me more and follows me more. He can tell when I’m sick, it’s pretty neat.

February 2013 it was dismissed

The final court date was coming up. I was still struggling with my chronic pericarditis which I had multiple flare ups of since November. Like four or five. When I went to court, it was dismissed and that was it I guessed. Nothing changed from before I was taken and now. They just interrupted my life and made me suffer. Not counting Christin and my mom. They criminally charged her with abusing me even though I was put back home and she never did anything wrong. She is awaiting her appeal to be processed at the moment. This was the worst time of my life. This wasn’t ever “medically charted” or anything but I developed a tick from all this. Whenever someone talked about CPS or my medical issues and some other stressful topics, my head would vibrate and twitch to the side. I couldn’t control it, but it’s gone now. I know it was a tick because when I replicate the movement now, it feels really “forced and voluntary”.

May, where I am now

A couple weeks ago CPS got another call and begun an investigation. They didn’t do any investigation before. Not sure why. I’m still having health issues but my chronic pericarditis has calmed down a little. I have been getting a flare up only about once a month now. I gained a lot of weight from prednisone (steroid I take when having a flare up) but I gained most of it during the time of CPS. It was a stressful time. And now my dad is trying to take custody of me which I don’t want and he is using the basis of CPS to try and take me from my mom. It’s so childish to me, things that some adults do. My doctors are a bit more unhelpful now after CPS, not sure why. And bad things are being documented about me that aren’t true most of them like “having mental problems”. I’m not getting worked up about it though. My only worry is that they could be trying to put me in a mental hospital. And that really isn’t a far-fetched idea considering everything that has happened. I believe CPS and did a lot of wrong. One of the CPS social workers asked me what I want to come out of all this. I said I want to go home and for there to be better laws so this doesn’t happen to more kids and to limit CPS’s power. Because they really do have so much that it’s like they can walk up to you and take your child and say see ya later. So that was my experience with CPS, I probably forgot stuff though. I feels good not to remember it but it’s also important to remember, so you know how to deal with it.

My Experience with CPS

By  Christin 13 years old

Wednesday, November 21, 2012- Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On November 21, 2012, I was sitting in my eighth grade English class. It was an early dismissal that day, everyone was preparing for Thanksgiving vacation. My teacher passed out a class assignment for everyone to work on. I only had a chance to write my name, and then the phone rang. Everyone looked up and watched the teacher. My teacher came to my desk and told me the front office wanted me to go there. I made my way down, and walked in the front office. The receptionist/ person at front desk looked up at me and said my counselor wanted to speak with me. So I walked in the back, to the counselor. The principal walked by and said “Hi, Christin”, and smiled. I remember thinking how unusual, the principal is always busy, and when he even said my name, I knew something was wrong. I went in the counselor’s office and sat down. Mrs.AXXXXX, my counselor, informed me that a CPS worker was there at my school to talk to me. Mrs.AXXXXX said she doesn’t know what the CPS worker wanted. We went in the office’s conference room. I saw a woman sitting in a chair. She said her name is JXXX and she worked for CPS. She never showed any badge or identification which made me a little suspicious of her. She said she wanted to talk to me, and asked if I wanted Mrs.AXXXXX to stay. Thinking in my head, I thought if anything happened, Mrs.AXXXXX could be a witness, so I said she could stay. She said my father was in the other room. She told me she was going to place me in his custody. I bursted out crying hysterically. Jane looked at me and asked if there’s a reason I didn’t want to live with him. Half talking, half crying, I said, “because he’s mean and hurts us.” I told JXXX he was abusive and physically hurt us in the past. I didn’t go in detail because I wasn’t really sure who she was and why she was there. Like I mentioned, she didn’t show any identification. I remember it like it was yesterday, she looked up in my red, crying eyes, and leaned forward over the table and said, “well, maybe some of those things aren’t true, and maybe that never happened.” She told me my mom probably just made that up and that abuse never occurred. She looked me in the eye and said, “and I just want you to think about that, okay?” I was just crying and shaking my head, “no”. She made me go to the principal’s office, where my dad was waiting with the principal. I kept my head down because I didn’t want to look at my dad, and I was crying still. I sat in a chair with my head in my lap. My dad, the principal, and Jane were talking like nothing was happening, they were laughing and talking about everyday topics like the weather and the school. After the majority of students left the school campus for Thanksgiving vacation, they said it was time to go. They all got up out of their chairs and looked down at me crying and said “lets go”. I didn’t want to get up. I clenched my fingers on the bottom of my chair and didn’t move. They had to pull out my chair a little to get me finally up. They led me out of the school, as I walked past some of my peers. I felt like a prisoner, being led out by adults, but I told myself I did nothing wrong, JXXX was doing the wrong. I felt like I was being kidnapped, and to this day I honestly feel like I was kidnapped. They shoved me in my dad’s car and waved and smiled bye, and JXXX said, “see you in court this afternoon”. My dad pulled out of the parking lot and drove off. I was scared. I was alone with what I see as, a criminal. I couldn’t believe JXXX put me in his custody with the knowledge that he is abusive. We went through a Wendy’s drive thru. He ordered food and I didn’t because I didn’t want to eat processed, greasy, and unhealthy food. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet, and he didn’t offer an alternative lunch option, so I didn’t have lunch that day. So, in his/CPS custody I already didn’t get a meal to eat. We arrived at the courthouse and pulled up in the parking lot. He took me to a stranger’s car and put me inside it. A woman was sitting in it, apparently it was his girlfriend. We waited for my brother and my dad’s parents to arrive. We all went inside and went through a security scanner. My brother and I sat down. My brother, Kevin, asked when I was taken. I was still crying since I was taken from school so I couldn’t speak. Kevin asked “today?” and I nodded, “yes”. So I spent my first day of Thanksgiving vacation in court. CPS decided to place my brother and I in the custody of my dad’s parents. I went in a separate room to say goodbye to my mom and sister. Unfortunately, Jane had to follow us and be in the room the entire time, talking about the court stuff while I was just trying to say bye to my mom. I didn’t know when I would see her again.

My brother and “grandma” went to a chiropractor appointment she had made for him on her own. I was driven away with my father and “grandpa”. I was taken to my “grandparents” home. On the drive there, I had a severe headache. When we arrived at the house, I went inside and my dad showed me where my brother had been staying while in CPS custody, and where I would now join him. It was a dark, small room in the corner of the house. There were two beds so my brother and I didn’t have to share one at least. I only had my backpack with me from when my dad took me from my school. My dad and “grandpa” showed me their two overweight cats and some pictures. I honestly didn’t really care or want to look at pictures or pet their cats but I complied and did as my dad said; I didn’t know how he would react if I said, “no”. One reason was because I was in a stranger’s home with two strange men, one of them, my dad, who I see as a criminal. And two, I have witnessed my dad be physically abusive and have random anger rages, so I didn’t want to do anything to make him upset, I was just trying to stay alive. I began to do my homework after that. About a half hour later, my dad’s girlfriend arrived and my “grandma” with Kevin arrived back from his appointment. My suitcase filled with clothes to wear was brought inside. I brought my suitcase to my room I would be staying in. My brother and I cleaned off the second bed for me. I didn’t want to sleep in it because it belonged to a stranger but I also didn’t want to sleep on a dirty carpet. So I slept in the bed. My brother and I talked a little. My dad and his girlfriend went to their home. When nighttime came, we turned off our light and shut our door. I went in my bed hesitantly with my baby blanket, which is like three feet in length, and winter jacket. It was my only blanket I had to keep me warm because I didn’t feel comfortable going under a blanket that wasn’t mine. On some nights I used one of my brother’s blankets we had with us from home; but every single night I was there, I froze and shivered. I lost a lot of sleep too. I couldn’t fall asleep because I was cold and some nights, especially the first night, I thought about if I would wake up the next morning. Being in a stranger’s home made me very scared. I don’t know anything about my “grandparents”, who knows what they could’ve done. The first morning I woke up there was Thanksgiving morning. I felt sad because I wanted my brother and I to go home to my mom and sister and have Thanksgiving. This was the first time I have been away from my mom on Thanksgiving. I was told that children would be coming over, apparently they were my cousins with my aunt and uncle, I haven’t seen for years. The last time I saw them I was like six years old. So I was forcefully surrounded by even more strangers. I didn’t think it was very considerate of them either. I have been taken away and they just put more and more strangers around me. My brother and I each took a shower that morning and ate cereal for breakfast. We went in our room and sat on our bed. We played games on my brother’s Ipad together and talked. Later that day, my dad came to the house with his girlfriend again, along with her son who looks like he was in his late teens or early twenties. When they arrived, my brother and I had been playing a Mario Bros video game and sat on a couch. My dad sat next to us. My brother offered to let my dad play so he wouldn’t just sit there. My dad seemed to struggle with how to control and play the game even though my brother and I were showing him how. While the Thanksgiving food was cooking, my brother and I continued to play a video game. My aunt, uncle, and cousins arrived later. All five of them immediately came into the room my brother and I were in. They all just stared down on my brother and I. A few seconds later, they said hello. I didn’t look at them, I just sat there and didn’t really say anything because they are all mean and don’t care about me. My brother and I played the game with the youngest cousin who was about seven years old, so she wouldn’t just watch us. After a little while, I told my brother I had a headache and was going to rest in our room. I tried to sleep but couldn’t, I had a really bad headache. When it was time to eat dinner, I was starving. I didn’t want to sit with people who I don’t know and are mean and abusive. So I told my brother I wasn’t going to go sit down at the table and eat with them. He said he would bring me food to eat. Later that evening, everyone left to go home. My brother and I went to bed after we talked a little. The next morning, November 23, 2012, we ate breakfast. I took a shower after. When I was done, my brother went to go take a shower. When he came out, he told me he is having SVT (super ventricular tachycardia) and told me to feel his chest. I did and I felt his heart beating really fast and rapidly. I could also feel it moving his chest because it was so fast and strong.

 

{Nov 23 2012 CHRISTIN KULMAN IPOD NOTES below While in CPS while KEVIN in ER‏}

Waits 5-10 min and then tells “grandpa” he is having SVT. He puts a monitor thing on his finger his heart rate is at 226. PXX finally calls Dr MXXXXXXXX after Kevin continually complains he is in pain and needs to go to the ER. Pat leaves a message and seems to just have chit chat with her son on the phone. She does not take this seriously. I stay by my brother while he could be potentially be dying in front of her. She repeatedly takes off the monitor that Kevin puts on and records his heart rate during his episode of SVT. My brother and I have to continually get back and put the monitor back on him. It seems as if PXX is more worried about her two overweight cats than my cardiac patient brother. My brother finally has had enough; I get his medicine and put in a bag. I get socks and shoes for my brother to wear. I also get my brother and I a warm jacket and get my iPod; All the while pat is chatting on phone with her own doctor that called her. My brother and I walk out the door with “grandpa.” We both sit in the car waiting to be driven to seek medical attention. After about almost ten minutes of waiting next to my brother who is moaning in pain, pat finally walks out of her house acting like nothing is happening; taking her time. While driving in the car, Dr MXXXXXXXX calls Pxx back. Pxx tells her inaccurate and false information about my brother condition and episode. We arrive at the ER and check in. We go back to the room and Kevin gets hooked up to a bunch of monitors and machines. After one hour of his painful episode. The doctors and nurse give him an IV drug only used in this occasion of SVT. (First shot didn’t work, had to give it twice) His heart rate goes to 54 from 215. His pain has finally ended. When pat is asked about his condition and medication she is dumbfounded. She does not know how to respond besides pointing to Kevin and saying ask him while he is in critical condition while she knows it’s painful for him to speak. Pxx is texting who knows while my brother is getting medically treated. I just recently turned thirteen and I’m the one who pays attention to what he is being given and what the doctor says. Pxx just laughs while my brother is in pain. She continually coughs within 4 feet of my brother. A cardiac patient (my brother) should never be exposed to anyone with a cough or illness. Even if her cough “isn’t because she us sick” a cough is a cough and it us harmful. My brother does not have an immune system to be exposed to that. November 23 Friday 2012

 

After about an hour, my brother was well enough to get discharged and go home. We went home and ate lunch. My brother and I just sat in our room together for the rest of that day. Days went by and I really wanted to go home. One day, my “grandparents” said that we were going to go to my dad’s house in Spanaway and visit for the day. I didn’t want to go. I had homework and didn’t feel comfortable going to a house I have never been to and not even knowing the address or where I was. The reason I knew his house was in Spanaway was because I recognized some stores we drove by. They just put us in a car and drove us to my dad’s house. We got there and my dad, his girlfriend, and her son were there. My dad gave us a tour of his house and my brother and I just followed along because we didn’t know what to do. After that, we watched TV. Finally, in the evening we went home. One day, my dad came over and he and my “grandparents” pulled out some presents from their garage. They said it was from Christmas a long time ago. My brother and I opened them up, although they were no longer age appropriate since my brother and I were older. After that they wanted to play a board game, and my brother and I didn’t really have a choice, so we played too. My “grandma” lost first and got last place. She kept trying to deny the fact that she lost and kept trying to cheat. I got third place, my dad second, and my brother won the game. My dad stayed for dinner too and then went home. As the week went by, I had several more bad experiences. For example, when my “grandma” drove me to school, I was a little early because I always rather be safe than sorry. So, I asked her if she would park in one of the many available parking spaces. She said “no” and so I was forced to get out of the car and stand in the school entrance until the bell rang. Also, one evening we were eating dinner and my “grandpa” took off a screw in his head and showed it to my brother and I. I was disgusted and traumatized. I don’t know why he felt the urge to share his screw in his head, especially while we were eating. One school evening my brother and I were doing our homework in our room. My dad and my other grandparents on my dad’s side came over. They talked to us and then my “grandma” wanted to take pictures. My brother and I both said no and we didn’t want to. We told them we had homework. She said it would be quick and she would give us a treat when we were done. My brother and I were forced to get in pictures. She took the pictures but she kept saying “one more” and “this is the last one”. I didn’t want to smile but she wouldn’t let us leave until we did. So I smiled a forced, fake, and irritated smile. I wasn’t happy at all in those pictures. Finally my dad and other grandparents left. My brother asked my “grandma” what are treat was and she just offered yogurt. This wasn’t a treat because that was what we ate everyday with lunch. On November 28, 2012, we went to court again. The judge decided to place me back in my mom’s custody and made my brother go to my mom’s house for half a day and my dad’s the other half because my “grandparents” basically said they can’t watch us and have us. After court, I was hugging my mom in the hallway and like three people came and pulled me aside. Two of them worked with CPS and another was a GAL. They kept asking me if I wanted to have visits with my dad and I kept saying “no” but they didn’t seem to accept my answer. I felt like they were harassing me. I just wanted to be with my mom and they asked me a question, I gave them my answer, and they kept asking the same question over and over. Finally, they left and I went back to my mom. I had to go back to my “grandparents” house to pack up my clothes. My dad’s girlfriend drove me home to my house. She stood in my driveway and asked me to go ask my mom about my brother’s medicine. The judge decided that my brother was in charge of his medicine and my mom wasn’t. So I don’t know why my dad’s girlfriend asked me that. Either she has a memory loss issue or she wants to get my mom in trouble.  I brought my suitcase in my house and closed my garage door. I was finally home again.

Suggested Recommendations

  1. Activate change immediately. Every day that passes means more families and children are subject to being held against their will just like hostages.
  2. Call for an independent audit of the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) to expose corruption and fraud. And implement CPS/Family Law Reform.
  3. Addressing the MSBP or factitious illness by proxy diagnosis that is the core of many problems with CPS and Family Law. Uphold the good faith immunity laws by a mandate for all physicians to use good faith, or legal penalties, sanctions, or criminal charges can be filed.

A physician must always thoroughly look in a patients chart for explanation or understanding to the real issues at hand and have their superiors authorize allegations after careful review of patient chart. This can protect children and health care organizations. It is abusive and negligent for a physician that to hide behind MSBP accusation of a patients, after medical errors and to evade lawsuits or auditors. It is already a crime to knowingly make false allegations.

  1. End the financial incentives that separate families.
  2. Grant to parents and children their rights in writing.
  3. Mandate a search for family members to be given the opportunity to adopt their own relatives.
  4. Mandate a jury trial where every piece of evidence is presented before removing a child from his or her parents.
  5. Require a warrant or a positive emergency circumstance before removing children from their parents. (Judge Arthur G. Christean, Utah Bar Journal, January, 1997 reported that “except in emergency circumstances, including the need for immediate medical care, require warrants upon affidavits of probable cause before entry upon private property is permitted for the forcible removal of children from their parents.”)
  6. Uphold the laws when someone fabricates or presents false evidence. If a parent alleges fraud, hold a hearing with the right to discovery of all evidence.
  7. Addressing the MSBP or factitious illness by proxy diagnosis that is the core of many problems with       CPS and Family Law.
  8. Uphold the laws and constitution to grant parents the right to an opportunity to obtain a second medical opinion as this is labeled ‘doctor shopping’, part of the MSBP child abuse profile, it is just ethically right. Yet, it is one of the most common rights being violated by physicians, CPS, and Family Law.

As a mother who has just experienced a series of medically necessary labs, tests, and procedures for my son whose congenital heart condition was not founded until after he suffered a heart attack at school, there is just a natural response of anxiety that can result for a child and family.  It does not mean anybody is doing anything wrong. And caring for a child or questioning doctors on the care for a child should never be confused or accused as MSBP and it should be recognized as an expected response from any parent or child. The legitimacy of the MSBP theory is now undergoing intense scrutiny worldwide even more so because of the CPS involvements. The MSBP profile used by doctors contains paradoxes that make it even more difficult, almost impossible, for any mother to prove their innocence. For example, being an over-protective parent can be a MSBP profile, but so is being a negligent parent.  CPS or Child Protection Services often take the view that a mother must be guilty and failed to undertake appropriate investigations. I was never investigated, yet I was charged. I am asking for a public inquiry and by all of our Washington State Senators. MSBP should never be a basis for family law as our family is now experiencing. Evidence involving the label or profile of MSBP has been rejected by Australian courts and should be Washington State courts. For example, the Queensland Court of Appeal (R v LM [2004] QCA 192), ruled it prejudicial and inadmissible. The South Australian Supreme Court (S4118, 1993) ruled that, although a pediatrician, Professor David Southall’s MSBP testimony could only be regarded as a lay person’s opinion. The Queensland Court of Appeal (R v LM [2004] QCA 192), in a unanimous judgment, stated MSBP (or factitious disorder by proxy) was not a recognized psychiatric disorder or mental illness in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV). The court went on to say that MSBP had no agreed sets of symptoms or signs that allowed it to be classified into a recognized psychiatric diagnostic system, it was not a recognized medical condition, disorder or syndrome, and the court excluded evidence from a psychiatrist as “extremely prejudicial”. Justice Holmes noted that the MSBP argument was inherently circular and did nothing to prove criminal conduct.

The Australian Capital Territory’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Richard Refshauge, said the QCA decision on MSBP made “clear that if a woman is to be prosecuted for harming her children, it is not enough to put a label on it; facts are required to justify the case”. “By labeling the woman in this way with MSBP or factitious illness by proxy you are saying the woman is guilty, as the label creates the guilt.  People are not convicted for having a syndrome or a particular behavior; they are convicted for the illegal acts that they do.”  The heart of the problem is hearsay or feelings are the alleged evidence that is being allowed in CPS and Family Law Courts. And would be inadmissible in criminal matters.

I think the courts should aim at what has happened and not a label and that is not what is happening in our family law hearing as result of wrongful allegations of MSBP by CPS. I feel this is allowing harm to the child, child’s family, physicians, and the health care organizations affected by the unregulated MSBP or factitious illness by proxy and with no legal penalties, or sanctions as an incentive to follow the good faith immunity laws. My children and I have been traumatized by the abuse and unwarranted removal from their innocent mother and the imprisonments unjustified. I was denied by nearly 50 lawyers in my surrounding community including government and court legal aid by the claim it was a conflict of interest. I was released from employment 9 days after my son had open heart surgery. I have no funds and I am doing the best I can to try and research law to represent myself in the process not able to keep up with the fast moving demands in litigations resulting in the potential charge of in contempt of court. And risk losing all parental rights, custody given to another parent or other, as direct result of my inability to pay for legal representation.

My children and I live in fear, and naturally so, for the most part our trauma is still in continuum by the uncertainty of litigations. We did not have such a fear to answer our door or when an unidentified person was at our door, until after CPS.  I am reluctant to open curtains and warmer weather is upon us, my children show a fear to go to school,-every morning after I drop my daughter off at school she does not get out of my car unless I promise to be there and pick her up after school, also my son is simply not going to school because when he does his pain and symptoms increase and causes a flare up in his pericarditis and he has missed so much school work he will not be able to finish on time. When his symptoms increase he has to seek medical care, and his experience is doctors are reactive and call CPS. It is a fear conditioned by doctors continually dismissing his symptoms, even though he is having chest pains they tell him they are going to call his father without any further explanations. I am innocent yet CPS filed a child abuse negligence finding and I am entered in a national database for life. They claim I am negligent for taking my son to the doctor and making him have unnecessary labs, tests, and procedures. This wrongful charge of child abuse by neglect can never be removed, not even if the charges are dismissed by appeal. The only course of action for any hopes to have it removed is by bringing a lawsuit forward. There needs to be an immediate removal from, the database for every MSBP abuse charge dismissed. This can prevent lawsuits and allow parents to be exonerated and the right to have employment to care for their children and not having to rely on the state to provide medical or food assistance as result of. Our stories shared are only the tip of the iceberg so to speak as far as what new laws need to be made and we would welcome the opportunity to share further ideas to help make better laws. No mother and child should ever live in fear. There is only one thing worst then a child being abused, it’s a child being abused in a world full of people.

 

Respectfully,

Anne Giroux

 

 

 

 

 

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