I am reaching out to you because my boyfriend and I are being falsely accused of child abuse to our 11 week old daughter. When our daughter was five and a half weeks old we took her to Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio for severe colic in which we were turned away for a diagnosis of a “fussy colicy baby”. That doctor and the multiple nurses that looked her over that night never questioned any abuse nor had her pediatrician at prior wellness baby visits. A few days later at her pediatrician appointment to follow up after the ER visit, I showed the Dr. pictures of a bruise that was on her arm a few days prior and showed her a slight bruise on her leg. Both bruises were a strange line and did not look like a fingerprint or anything of that nature and we took the pictures and showed her out of concern for our daughter’s health. She sent us for blood work and other tests. It was found that she had five fractures to her ribs 6 & 7, both acute and healing. They INSTANTLY accused us of child abuse, and we were sent for questioning at the police station the next day. We were in such shock to find out our sweet baby had multiple rib fractures and to make it worse they now had discharged our daughter to my mother as they did not feel comfortable sending her home with us. My mother was an OB nurse for 18+ years and had asked for additional bone density tests and blood work for vitamin D that they were not even going to run to rule out anything else before accusing loving parents of abuse. We went to court, and they gave my mother and father temporary custody, and we have to go to trial on May 24th. Our attorneys will be going to court on April 24th. We are at a loss, and we have been cooperating 100% with questions and appointments and anything they have asked of us. We are in therapy and have our daughter in two different developmental programs and attend supervised visits at Job and Family Services. Children’s rescanned her and signed off and her pediatrician said that she did not need to see her now until her four-month checkup. The results that came back for her vitamin D were severely deficient at a level of 13. Those results did not come back until after they had discharged our daughter to my mother and accused us of abuse. Her pediatrician had never suggested vitamin D to us even though she was a breastfed baby. I thought as a new mom that she was getting all her nutrients from the prenatals that I was still taking. When my mother found out that she was not on vitamin D she was very concerned that that could be why this happened. As I said she is a nurse and my dad is retired highway patrol. Neither have seen any signs of abuse and have seen how concerned we have been for her health ever since she had started being colicy. We even called my mom one night because we were so worried it was more than colic and she came over to our house late at night. Right before I got pregnant I was being seen by two different specialists because I had severe bone pain in which is felt like my hips, knees ,shoulder and wrists were breaking. I have a high pain tolerance, but it was debilitating pain. I started seeing a third specialist at the beginning of my pregnancy but they could not test further due to me being pregnant. They were calling it arthritis, but had no tests saying that it was. They couldn’t figure it out so they ruled it as that. I went back to look at all of those results and saw no test for vitamin D. We have been desperate to get our daughter back as she is so young and this is extremely traumatizing to us. We are missing out on precious time and bonding with our baby and terrified for the future trial because nobody is listening to us or taking into account that we showed the bruises and seeked out medical help. We love our baby and anyone that knows us knows they have the LAST two people who would ever hurt a baby. I came across an article online about a Florida case that sounded exactly like what we are experiencing, and your name was mentioned in it for your passion to encourage doctors to look further into cases like this. Please consider returning my message as we are desperate to prove our innocence and have our baby back home.
Dr. Holick’s Evaluation of E. Family;
I had a Zoom call with the mother who informed me that she has joint issues, bruises easily, flushes easily, has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome among other physical and medical conditions. I evaluated her. Among other physical findings she had significant joint hypermobility with a Beighton score of 7/9. She also has pizogenic papules on her feet. I evaluated her daughter who has many of the medical conditions that I often observed in infants including easy bruisability, flushing easily, joints clicking and had history of multiple fractures. On physical exam she had significant joint hypermobility of her wrists, hips, fifth digits among others. She also had frontal bossing and a click murmur. Her daughter had a 25-hydroxyvitamin D of 13 ng/mL which is consistent with being severely vitamin D deficient and having infantile rickets. Based on all the evidence I concluded that mom and daughter likely had Ehlers Danlos syndrome hypermobility type. I wrote an expert report explaining that her daughter not only had a bone fragility genetic disorder Ehlers Danlos syndrome hypermobility type but also had severe vitamin D deficiency and likely infantile rickets which further compromised the architectural integrity of her skeleton thereby markedly increasing risk for fragility fractures with normal handling. This was the more likely reason for her daughter’s fractures rather than due to nonaccidental trauma. My expert report helped the family be reunited with their daughter. You can hear first hand from E what it is like to be falsely accused of child abuse.
Please see the letters from the parents as to what they experienced as a result of to being falsely accused child abuse and how I helped them be reunited with their child in ‘Letters from Parents Who Dr. Holick helped’.