Parents Wrongly Lost Custody Of Their Baby Because Of A Medical Misdiagnosis

January 21, 2018
Keep Reading ↓

Carrying the responsibility of being a parent can sometimes seem scary — a newborn is so fragile and there is just so much to do for them.

When a baby is colic, that can add a whole extra level of strain.

Parents will do whatever they can to help relieve the discomfort their baby has and that often means reducing their gas pains, which is said to contribute to colic.

This means doing regular “burping” of their baby after each feed.

A common practice for relieving gas pain is by placing your hand supporting their chin, leaning the baby forward and gently patting their back. That’s exactly what Gina Hodgkins did for her baby — but that very same common practice is what she was told was why she lost custody of her baby.

When Gina’s son was just 6 weeks old, she took him to the doctor for a check-up and after that everything just spiralled out of control for herself and her partner, Joshua Sparkes.

Gina thought that something was wrong with her baby boy, Teddy, not long after he was born.

The Mother says his birth was quick and easy and her baby was born healthy.

But her mom, who was there for the birth of Gina’s second child, thought that something was wrong.

When my mum took him for a cuddle, she said he looked a bit bruised,” Gina tells Daily Mail. “There were marks on his arms as well. The nurse reassured me it was normal, and was a result of him getting a bit squashed during delivery. But it hadn’t been a forceps birth, so I was surprised.”

A few weeks later, the Mother of 2 noticed Teddy had two marks on his cheeks and during her checkup appointment, she asked the doctor about it.

I was taking him to be weighed at 6 weeks old and the health visitor asked if I had any concerns,” she said. “I showed her the bruises and she said: ‘Yes, I was about to ask you what they were.’”

That is when this new mom’s nightmare began.

The Doctor told her she was calling social services and she was to wait at home.

She told Daily Mail that she was frightened, but she knew she didn’t do anything wrong, so she wasn’t concerned.

About an hour later, two social workers and seven police officers arrived at her door.

Teddy and his older sister were taken from their parents care and their Gina was sent to the police station.

Teddy was taken to a local hospital to be checked out where doctors discovered more bruises on the baby’s arms, legs, and Joshua, who was able to accompany the social worker and his son to the hospital, tried to explain.

I told them Teddy was born with red marks covering his limbs and that he had a bleed on the eye when he was born — another symptom of easy bruising — but they didn’t listen.”

About an hour later, an arrest was made

Both parents were released from police custody in the early morning the next day. But by that time, both their children were in foster care.

The parents were also not allowed to have contact with their kids, or any children under the age of 16 due to their bail regulations.

Joshua says: “We just started crying and hugging. We hoped we’d wake up in the morning and be told it was a mistake.”

The parents were eventually given an hour supervised visitation with their kids.

After 5 weeks in foster care, the parent’s older child was able to return home.

But Teddy was still not allowed and was placed in temporary care of Gina’s sister.

Then Gina’s mother realized that other members of the family had a similar easy bruising pattern. Those with this history or bruising led to Gina and her siblings being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition — Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or EDS.

According to The Ehlers-Danlos Society, a common symptom includes skin that tears easily with bruising that can be severe.

The family had to wait several weeks to be heard in front of the judge to get approval for their request to have genetic testing done.

The results, which were positive for EDS, came back 4 months after Teddy was removed from his parent’s custody.

When the results came back, a doctor wrote to the city council explaining that since both the mom and teddy carry the gene for EDS, this is the “most plausible explanation” for why the little boy had so much bruising.

The charges were then eventually dropped and teddy was returned home to his parents.

That is 5 months after he was taken away!

According to the Daily Mail, the judge involved in the case apologized for what had happened.

The city also explained that they were just doing what was necessary to ensure the health and safety of the children.

My son and daughter were taken away from me when I did nothing wrong,” Gina said. “I lost five months’ bonding during a formative time in their lives. I can never get that back,” Gina said. “…. When Teddy came back, I didn’t know his routine. It took a while, but we found it again together. He’d got used to a different mum putting him to bed, another voice tucking him in and saying, ‘Good night.’ I don’t think I’ll ever truly recover from that.”

How awful!

Let us know your thoughts on this story.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *