Wanosik-children

Rebecca Wanosik’s four children with the new baby. Source: Wanosik Family.

UPDATE 7/11/2015

NBC News has picked up the Wanosik story:

Mom Who Lost Kids Says Baby’s Medical Condition Mistaken for Abuse

UPDATE 6/24/2015

Listen to Rebecca Wanosik interviewed by radio talk show host Gary Nolan.

UPDATE 6/22/2015

Family Fights for their 5 Children Medically Kidnapped in Missouri

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff

December 21st, 2014 Rebecca Wanosik was blessed with her 5th child. A beautiful baby girl was born in her home in Lebanon, Missouri. It was an uncomplicated home birth, and she was assisted by her midwife. This was Rebecca’s 2nd home birth, and with Rebecca being an experienced mother of 4, she knew what to expect. Rebecca and her husband were overjoyed with another beautiful addition to their family. Rebecca had her 4 children prior to meeting Anthony. This was their first child they had together. Rebecca felt so complete with an amazing husband, and now their baby girl.

But soon their family was completely torn apart when CPS came in and took all 5 of their children away, after the baby was found with fractured bones. Being now listed as “child abusers,” Rebecca would later learn that she had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, with low vitamin D levels for both her and her baby.

Baby’s Health Problems Surface

Anthony, Rebecca’s husband, has been actively serving in the military for the last 6 years. While he was serving our country, things started to unravel at home.

Rebecca started to feel her daughter’s rib cage popping and cracking at 3 weeks of age, so she made an appointment with their pediatrician. She expressed her concern to the doctor, and the pediatrician said “keep doing what you are doing, she seems fine.” Rebecca went home as advised, and trusted the doctors with their examination

But by February 24th there was discomfort in her daughter’s right arm, and it seemed to be bothering her. Again she made an appointment with the pediatrician. Unfortunately, this time their normal pediatrician was unavailable. Rebecca was concerned, but she took who was available to have her daughter checked out again.

This appointment was different.

After testing, Rebecca was hopeful for answers to what was going on with her baby. She waited patiently.  Then more testing and waiting, until finally she was told her baby had multiple fractures and her right arm was broken.

CPS Steps in and Tries to Blame Father

Anthony

Source: Wanosik Family.

Rebecca knew something must be wrong with her health for this to happen.  She knew what kind of mother she was and what an amazing husband she had by her side.

Child Protective Services were called in to investigate possible abuse.  Rebecca understood that, and was very honest and considerate through the questioning process which was quite intense.

Rebecca was questioned several times about her husband, asking if he picked up the baby wrong.  According to Rebecca, she was asked, “maybe your husband picked up the baby wrong since this is his first child.”

It was obvious to Rebecca after an hour and a half of her being interviewed that this was more of an interrogation. Her husband even got a letter stating that he was on duty away from home when the injuries allegedly occurred, to show that these allegations couldn’t possibly be true. He hadn’t even had the chance to be around his daughter very much after she was born.

Rebecca’s motherly instincts kicked in again, and she knew she wasn’t going to get any help from anyone else. She knew something was wrong with her child and it wasn’t abuse.

CPS Takes all 5 Children – Places Them with 11 Other Children and Only 1 Adult

Sadly, all 5 children were removed from the home immediately.  According to Rebecca, they were placed in a home with 11 other children and only one adult!

There was no “family preservation screening” done which should have been done within 72 hours.  The children could have been placed with other family members, but Rebecca said no one was contacted.  There was also a 17 year old in the house where their children were placed.  Rebecca felt that there should have been a background check done to ensure the children’s safety, but procedures allegedly were not followed.

Searching for Answers

Rebecca started researching, knowing there must be something wrong with her baby – something that she could bring to the doctors and say “this is it.” Rebecca is a determined mom, saying:

“Fighting for your family is not for the fainthearted. It is not for the weak soul, and it is certainly not for the guilty.”

Rebecca was a very disciplined researcher long before this happened.  She was not only a hard-working mother of 5, but also working on a dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and human services. She has since switched to criminal justice, pursing law school.

Rebecca used her research and analytical skills by asking for testing for herself, thinking her vitamin D levels might be low. Since her baby was now in the custody of the State, she thought, “test me for everything that may cause brittle bones in my child!”

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Diagnosed

Rebecca’s instincts proved to be correct, and after testing, she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type 3, Hypermobile form.  She was severely vitamin D deficient with a level of 5 at ten weeks post-partum.

Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are inherited in the genes that are passed from parents to offspring.  They are categorized according to the form of genetic transmission into different types with many features, differing between patients in any given type.  The fragile skin, loose joints, and tissue fragility are often a result of abnormal genes that produce abnormal proteins, producing less collagen. You can learn more about this syndrome here: http://www.ehlersdanlosnetwork.org/index.html.

Finally Rebecca had some answers, and took her records to court and to her daughter’s doctors.  After much pleading, her daughter’s vitamin D level was checked, and it was allegedly low at a level 4.31.

(Health Impact News covered another “medical kidnapping” story with a baby diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome here.)

Accusations of Abuse Continue

The doctors refused to listen to Rebecca, however, and they allegedly did not believe that her vitamin D levels had anything to do with her daughter’s bones.  Still being accused of abuse, this threatens not only her not getting their children back, but her husband’s job working in the military as well.

This husband and wife team has pressed on, even with a busy schedule. While busy researching their daughter’s condition, they have attended everything Child Protective Services has asked them to do.  This has included parenting classes, anger management, psychology evaluations and marriage counseling.  Even with everything they have accomplished, and with the facts of Rebecca being diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, they have been placed on the child abuse registry.

Expert Witnesses Called in to Testify

Rebecca has flown to several states with specialists to help prove her child’s case, meeting with different doctors and showing medical records to continue to get more answers.  At their last trial, they had 2 expert witnesses available by phone to prove their case.  Unfortunately, because of the time of the hearing ran so long, the witnesses were allegedly no longer available by phone, and the judge decided to not re-open the case.

One of the doctors Rebecca went to see was in Boston Massachusetts.  She provided him with all her medical records and her recent diagnosis.  He has agreed to see their daughter.

This will be another battle for Rebecca. How would she get her daughter there? They have been in and out of court with this issue trying to get approval.

Finally, approval has been granted, and the judge has allegedly stated that he would consider reopening their case with the new evidence, depending on what the report from Boston has to say.

Legal Bills Mounting

This is great news, but this has been a long road for this family to travel with mounting bills. There is much more money going out than coming in. Now they have to find a way to continue to pay for all of this.

They started with 1 lawyer and now have 2.  They have paid over $33,000 for all their expenses.  Rebecca has been working night and day on research and traveling to gather as much information as possible.  Now they are required to pay for plane tickets and a trip back to Boston again. In addition, they must pay for the 2 social workers from Missouri to also travel to Boston, and their rental car, hotel and meals. This couple has endured financial hardship from this case and there is no end in sight. But Rebecca is determined to get her children back.

The parents get to visit with their children 3 times a week, and those visits are the fuel for them to keep fighting. Rebecca’s husband continues to fight for our country’s freedom, all while their family feels their rights are being violated.  Staying strong and focused helps them press on.

Attorneys File Motion on Alleged Rights Violation

Their attorneys have submitted a motion to set aside the order of protective custody. The motion allegedly states that the proper channels were not followed before the judge made ruling for the courts to maintain jurisdiction over the children.  As Rebecca states:

“The state violated our right to due process and illegally placed my kids into care without having all the information mandated by law available to them.”

As Rebecca and Anthony continue to fight with many people by their side, they are hopeful their case will be opened once again. They are hopeful that they will be able to prove their baby has a medical condition, and that her condition is in no way related to any abuse.

A Quiet, Empty House

The quiet house is hard to deal with, and Rebecca talks about the memories she holds onto.  From the screams of excitement when she picked her children up from school, to the snuggles and wet kisses, and all the joys and hardship of motherhood, she is now left with a broken heart.

Now as their visits are supervised in an unnatural setting, she talks about medical kidnapping.

“Many people think that medical kidnapping is made up and think it doesn’t happen, the truth is that it is very real.”

Rebecca wants people to know this has been a life altering, traumatic experience.  Their baby has severe vitamin D deficiency and every one of the stated doctors she has come in contact with has claimed it doesn’t matter in regards to her bone health.  She wants people to know this is a long road that no parent should have to travel.

How to Help

The parents have a Facebook Group setup for people to learn more, and to learn how to support them: BringHomeTheZs

The following people can be contacted on behalf of the family:

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
216 State Capitol
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Fax:(573)751-1495
Tel:(573)751-3222 11/00
email: mogov@mail.mo.gov
web: http://governor.mo.gov/get-involved/contact-the-governors-office

Dana Perkins, Circuit Manager
Missouri Department of Social Services
2639 South Jefferson
Lebanon MO 65536
Phone: (417) 532-3137
Fax: (417) 532-1872
http://dss.mo.gov/cd/office/laclede.htm

Tom McDonald for district 28
MO House of Representatives
Address:  201 West Capitol Avenue
Room 109-A
Jefferson City MO 65101
Legislative Assistant:
Melaine Ott
Phone:
573-751-9851
E-Mail:
Tom.McDonald@house.mo.gov

Mike Parson State Senate district 28
Capitol Office:
201 W Capitol Ave., Rm. 420
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Phone: (573) 751-8793
Fax: (573) 526-8793
mparson@senate.mo.gov (28th district)

 

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