Parents accused of abuse lose custody of children after infant was misdiagnosed by doctors
A Texas couple who lost custody of their children after doctors misdiagnosed their infant has recently come forward with their story in an effort to enact changes in the medical system, KXAN reports.
In May 2015, Lorina and Jason Troy, of Elgin, welcomed their son but soon noticed that the infant's head kept growing. When the couple brought their child to medical specialists, they were unexpectedly accused of child abuse. Doctors claimed that the parents had repeatedly shaken their son so hard that it caused his head to swell.
"It was definitely a low blow being accused of something that you know you didn't do," Jason told the station. "The hospital was telling me I had to pack all my stuff and I couldn’t be near my kids."
Though the parents, who share another son together, questioned the diagnosis, they were dismissed, Lorina said.
"I told [the doctor], 'My son has never been hurt in any way. Could this be anything else?'" she recalled. "And he told me, 'Yes, but since he's a baby and can't talk, we are just going to go with abuse," and walked away."
Both of Lorina and Jason's children were allegedly taken away from them and placed into foster care. As time passed, Lorina said she noticed a change in her sons's health.
"My oldest son lost 20 pounds within six weeks of being taken from us and medical reports show that he showed signs of sadness and depression," she said. "You're so used to seeing your children everyday, and for them not to be there…. you see them smiling and laughing, and for them not to be there and you just hear silence, it's just really devastating."
Jason was also charged with two counts of child abuse, KXAN notes. He was purportedly forced out of his job, and he and his wife had to sell their house to pay an attorney to represent them.
"There was some doubt," Jason said. "Like was there something I did? Justice would prevail and the facts would come out."
The couple eventually got a hold of a medical expert in Maryland, who determined that their younger son, in fact, had benign external hydrocephalus, a condition that commonly occurs in infancy and childhood and results in a rapidly increasing head circumference. Shortly after, the children were returned to the couple and the charges were dropped. The damage, however, was already done, Lorina said.
"I have seen a lot of medical conditions that can easily be mistaken as child abuse when it isn't," she said. "The proper medical experts should be hired to correctly diagnose the children instead of assuming the worst and go that way because it drastically affects the families, especially the children."
According to KXAN, the Troys can no longer sue their doctor for malpractice because they missed the two-year statute of limitations. The couple has since been in contact with the White House, Texas's governor and other legislators to help create laws that will stop children from being wrongfully removed from their parents and prevent doctors from carelessly misdiagnosing patients.
"There were times when the loss of our children, the unbelievable accusations against my husband and the feeling that we were powerless to right the wrongs – were overwhelming," Lorina told the station. "But, we went through the most challenging events of our lives and it has made us stronger. Now, we can take our terrible situation and what we have learned, and help others in similar situations."