Court denies custody for Florida couple who stopped 4-year-old son's chemotherapy
Hillsborough County Judge Thomas Palermo announced Monday that Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball Monday would not be the caretakers of their son Noah McAdams. The child will remain in his maternal grandparents' custody, although Palermo did not rule out the possibility of returning the boy to his parents in the future.
In April, McAdams and Bland-Ball went on the run with Noah, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and in need of "lifesaving care." Authorities were alerted after the child missed a scheduled chemotherapy treatment. They eventually tracked the family down in Kentucky and filed an emergency order to remove the boy from the parents' custody.
McAdams and Bland-Ball had reportedly given Noah doses of CBD oil and marijuana — along with fresh foods and clean alkaline water — because the child was not responding well to chemotherapy.
"He had vicious mood swings making him violent, making him very emotional," Bland-Ball told ABC 13 in May. "He also started to lose his hair right away after the first treatment."
At the time, the couple's lawyer, Michael Minardi, argued that Noah's blood test showed no signs of leukemia following the alternative treatment.
"They're saying that this child is in immediate danger when the fact that there is... no cancer showing in his blood and there is no indication that at any point in time... that any cancer is going to come back in his body," he said.
The child's parents had also claimed in court that they decided to discontinue Noah's chemotherapy due to the hospital's treatment of him.
"The hospital's governing body was disorganized, and the doctors were not pleasant or professional to us," Joshua told the judge. "It seemed like doctors were disappearing on us and just passing down Noah's information secondhand."
Research has shown that 98 percent of acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases result in remission when chemotherapy takes place, according to CBS News. Florida law also gives the state the right to provide medical treatment to children even if their parents object, the network adds.