Six-year-old twin boys in Mesa, Arizona were taken into custody by the Department of Children Services (DCS) for “Neglect” due to food intolerances. Both boys have had a lot of chemical and food sensitivities their whole lives, starting from when they were weaned from breastfeeding. “We have constantly struggled with their food sensitivities, one step forward, two steps back,” Jessica, acupuncturist and mother of the twin boys says. From very early on, both boys suffered with joint pain, irritability, headaches, horribly dark circles under their eyes, swelling all over the body, difficulty sleeping, heel pain, itching, rashes that got so bad they turned purple and great bloating.
The family removed different foods such as wheat and other processed foods, switching to a real food diet so popular today that it was thoroughly explained in a recent documentary on Netflix called “The Magic Pill”. Their problems subsided until the were literally thriving with no negative issues. They began taking tennis lessons, taekwondo and playing at the local playground regularly. Looking at the boys, you wouldn’t be able to tell anything was different about them from any other healthy child. They continued to thrive on their foods, growing taller, gaining weight and participating in scheduled activities. They were elated and spent their days filled with laughter and play. They continued to get more and more healthy, while introducing more foods, according to what foods didn’t cause negative reactions. This continued for over two years.
The boys started at a local charter school in August of 2018. Shortly thereafter, they experienced great change in their bodies. They felt yucky overall, suffered from joint pain, weakness in their muscles and headaches. The problems escalated.
Jessica, the boys’ mother, was in close communication with their teachers. They navigated the potential factors together including possible ingested foods, perfumes, cleaning products, pesticides and many other potential factors.
Due to the pains and specifically a fall at school on the playground for one of the boys, the parents scheduled a visit to an orthopedist. Healing took longer than expected, incorporating more and more visits to the orthopedist where they were told to just give it more time. As concerned parents, they went to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for a second opinion where they agreed with the schedule of treatment. The child who fell, experienced such pain that he was unable to stand and was put in a wheelchair for over a month.
The other boy also had a fall at school, tripping over a child on the floor when the teacher was absent from the room. This fall injured his knee so the parents took him to Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe bruise on the end of his femur. Rest was advised, so he was also given a wheelchair.
This means both boys were in wheelchairs and still attending school for roughly one month, where they continued to decline in stability, suffered from increased pains and began having cold after cold.
After much detective work form Jessica, overturning every possible cause, the biggest concern came down to the 30 kids in the classroom using dry erase markers on white boards. Other factors could have been pesticides, herbicides and cleaning chemicals. The potential side effects of dry erase makers and the dry erase maker cleaners included every one of their symptoms. The boys were pulled from school and began homeschooling. This method fitted them better as they were ahead in their schoolwork in class and could advance at their own pace.
They visited a neurologic rehabilitation center while they were waiting for many months for an appointment with a neurologist. Their hopes were to find help with the pains. Both boys were struggling, one more than the other. Facial swelling began and went, began and went. They visited their chiropractor, osteopath and continued to see their naturopath, chiropractor and MD Functional Medicine Doctor, as their support tools were what historically worked best for the boys. Each practitioner said the symptoms were consistent with liver signs.
Nutritional labs showed micronutrients at the cellular level were all within optimal ranges. The pains and weaknesses continued to overwhelm the child, heart pain and a change in his breathing pattern concerned the parents greatly. They took the boy to the Cardon Children’s Medical Center. Staff told the parents they did not have concerns regarding the boys and sent them home. Two days after being sent home the parents saw continued swelling in their son with lethargy so they took him to Cardon Children’s Medical Center Emergency Room.
Emergency Room staff was told there was chemical exposure at school with subsequent edema and lethargy. After finding out he did not eat a Standard American Diet, and wasn’t recovering as quickly as he should, the Emergency Room Doctor made a complaint to DCS. The boy was admitted to the hospital for further testing, to the PICU, telling the parents that since they were going into the weekend he would get better care in the PICU, not that he needed the ICU.
After many, many, many tests pre-albumen levels were abnormal showing protein wasn’t being absorbed properly, but albumen levels were fine. This is consistent in those with Intestinal Permeability, AKA Leaky Gut, which they already knew the boys had from many years earlier. Again, both boys were thriving on organic meats, organic vegetables, collagen, grass fed animal fats, marrow bones, organ meats, avocado and other foods.
After numerous tests finding no real cause for the boy’s struggle, DCS visited their home, after 10 pm, to interview the twin brother and visited the mother, father, doctors and child in the hospital. They put him on levothyroxin, a synthetic thyroid medication. They insisted more food needed to be given to the child in the hospital, that he was malnourished. The only test showing anything regarding malnutrition was the pre-albumen level, low blood sugar and electrolytes upon admission as the child hadn’t eaten prior to admittance. While in the hospital the parents continued to run home, cook food and bring their food to the hospital, juggling each of their jobs. The hospital insisted the child be fed more, threatening they would put him on a feed tube. Jessica continued to increase his intake of food to the point where the few days prior to when they took custody of both boys citing “neglect”, he was fed continually through the day. At that time his food intake included: breakfast – 6 New Zealand lamb meatballs, 3 turkey meatballs, 2 tablespoons mashed potatoes, 2 teaspoons beets, 1 teaspoon carrots with the skins, 5 ounces of water, lunch – 11 New Zealand lamb meatballs, 1/3 of a cup of potatoes, 1/8 of cup of lentils, 1/4 hard boiled egg yolk, dinner– 2 teaspoons mashed potatoes, 6 New Zealand lamb meatballs, 4 lamb meatballs, 3 teaspoons baked apple, snacks – 2 tablespoons carrots, 1 tablespoons beets, 5 New Zealand lamb meatballs, lamb meat stock, 1 tablespoon rutabaga, 2 tablespoons carrots, 1 tablespoon beets, 2 New Zealand lamb meatballs and 1/4 of a yolk.
They insisted this wasn’t enough food because he didn’t gain weight over the prior three days. Since the parents were abiding by the orders, they were pushing foods that were generally not tolerated. This resulted in itching, red rash, crying, fussiness, irritation, anger, bloating, restlessness, and he began to stop sleeping from the hours of 1 am to 5 am. These responses grew to constant itching, the rash turned an angry purple and grew to cover most of his torso and he stopped sleeping. The child spent most of the day crying.
When the reactions were brought to the attention of the hospital staff and doctor, they said they weren’t concerned unless it was an anaphylactic reaction and specifically saying, “Food can’t cause these reactions. We are to ignore any reaction that isn’t anaphylactic.”
His regular food intake was easily tripled to appease the staff. Jessica was measuring every morsel of food, calculating every calorie which far exceeded 2,000 calories for the 6-year-old. Since he didn’t gain weight in the last three days they blamed the mother accusing her of refusing him food.
DCS took custody of both boys two weeks after one was admitted to the hospital. The parents were still allowed to visit the son in the hospital but were required to leave while he ate. The first meal he was given from the hospital cafeteria “for more balanced nutrition” was a muffin and piece of sausage. After his dinner meal, the parents came back into his room and asked their son what he had for dinner which resulted in them getting kicked out of the hospital. They were escorted from the hospital by security, the husband was threatened to be put in handcuffs.
The parents were told they were taking custody of the boys due to medical neglect. They said the boys were in pain due to abuse from the parents. The mother was blamed of refusing him food, denying him food when he asked. She was accused of keeping him in pain since she said he doesn’t tolerate Tylenol. The mother was also accused of being argumentative because she continued to bring him food from home instead of allowing him to eat from the hospital cafeteria.
The hearing on this case will be held in two days. To express your concerns, fear of taking your own kids to a doctor and questions regarding this situation, call Sarah Kramer at the DCS Field Office for Mesa, Arizona (480) 659-6364 are send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and call Sarah Mendez at 480-659-6648 regarding the twin boys Dylan and Kenan. If you have the time to make three calls, do the same with Cardon Children’s Medical Center (480) 412-5437. If this happens to them, it can happen to us. If we speak up offering our thoughts, they may let these children come back to their parents. An advocate has told the parents that this situation is becoming more and more common and children are often held. She also said that parents usually receive a gag order for raising awareness. This is not a situation to sit by and see what happens, it’s a call to action.
*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, through The American Naturopathic Medical Association and works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. email@example.com
“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.
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