by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
How does a routine trip to an E.R. by concerned parents in Kentucky turn into a terrifying ordeal where the parents were blindsided by child abuse accusations, and sent home empty-armed and broken-hearted without their children? Only recently did they discover the truth about what happened that night over two years ago when their infant son was in Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital without them. They believe their baby’s diagnosis was changed by a Child Abuse Specialist to cover-up Vanderbilt’s medically induced injuries, blaming it instead on the parents. They have been fighting to get their children back ever since, and want to bring their story to the public.
For over two years Ausia Branch, the mother, Jarvis Evans, the father, and Melanie Evans, the paternal grandmother, have been fighting the Kentucky family courts and criminal courts for the return of their two children Amira and Zadyne. The children were removed by Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) following an accusation of non-accidental trauma by Tennessee’s Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital’s Child Abuse Specialist after 8-month old Zadyne was air-lifted there from The Medical Center in Bowling Green for meningitis on 4/20/14.
The family says that Zadyne became ill after receiving vaccines.
Ausia and Jarvis are seven months pregnant with their third child, and fear that if this case is not resolved soon, DCBS will try and seize the newborn. The family shares:
It is not easy to tell our story because it is embarrassing to be accused of child abuse when you know that you are innocent. We decided to share our story because we know that we are not alone. There are many other parents that have experienced and are presently going through the same thing that we are going through now.
We share our story because we want to draw public attention to this dark side of the so called shaken baby syndrome which is not scientific and where innocent parents are being locked up, their children taken away from them and their lives destroyed.
We share our story because the only HOPE that a poor person has is their faith in God as the legal cost of having good representation in fighting accusations of shaken baby syndrome can be tremendous.
It is our hope that our voices are heard and those in position of power will take a look at how doctors are making decisions concerning the shaken baby syndrome based on one symptom or a triad of symptoms without any other evidence of physical abuse.
Families are being destroyed by only the word of a doctor. In other words, a doctor’s word is allowed to become a legal conclusion rather than focusing on only the material evidence. This ought not to be and that is why we have decided to share our story.
Premature Baby Becomes Ill After Vaccinations
Zadyne was born prematurely at 32 weeks gestation in August of 2013 and was immediately admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for two weeks for “prematurity, metabolic acidosis, sepsis, respiratory distress, feeding problems and jaundice.” Zadyne received oxygen through a ventilator.
Ten days after his birth, they injected him with a Hepatitis B vaccine.
By the time he was 3 months old, he received eight vaccines: DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B, Hib, Pneumococca, Rotavirus, and 2 Synagis. The family noticed that Zadyne would get very ill after the vaccinations.
Shortly after receiving these vaccines, Zadyne was taken to the E.R. of Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY for persistent fevers, poor feeding, and unusual sleepiness.
Between 2/19/14 and 3/10/14, now 6 months old, Zadyne received the same six vaccines he received at 3 months, plus Influenza, and 1 Synagis. On 3/16/14, Zadyne was again taken to The Medical Center of Bowling Green’s E.R. for persistent fevers, poor feeding and unusual sleepiness.
The family explains:
These shots made him very sick as he was already probably suffering from hydrocephalus (which at the time we did not know that it was hydrocephalus). Zadyne had a very large head, and had always had problems trying to keep it steady. Our pediatrician Dr. Smith took notice of Zadyne’s large head, but did nothing to determine if there were any underlying medical problems. His job was only to give shots.
Diagnosed with Meningitis and BESS by Bowling Green Medical Center
The family reports:
Zadyne stayed at the emergency room in Bowling Green from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for various test. He was then released to go home. After about an hour at home, he had a seizure and had to be returned to the emergency room. This time, they did a spinal tap and it revealed cloudy cerebral spinal fluid which suggested that he may have had meningitis.
Dr. Robert Game, Diagnostic Radiologist with over 39 years of experience, did a CT scan and diagnosed the child with a Benign Enlargement of the Space in the Head (BESS) ) and possible thrombosis (blood clots), ‘giving the large size of the subarachnoid space.’ He stated that there was ‘No focal lesions or mass. No hemorrhage.’ (In other words, there was no bleeding, destruction or damage to the child’s brain.)
Two chest test x-rays revealed that there was no problem with his lungs.
Around 10:00 p.m. Zadyne was transferred to Vanderbilt via helicopter. Ausia was not allowed to accompany her son in the helicopter, but she maintained in contact with the E.R. doctors by phone.
Dr. Abdalla Abdelrahman, Neuroradiologist with over 25 years of experience from the Medical Center, requested Vanderbilt do an MRI to determine if the child had a subdural hygroma (excessive collection of cerebral spinal fluid) or any chronic (old) subdural hematomas ‘giving the large size of the subarachnoid space.’
Child Abuse Specialist Dismisses Previous Medical Assessment, Accuses Family of Non-Accidental Trauma
Upon arrival at Vanderbilt, Zadyne’s assessment was recorded as, “awake/responsive to touch/pain, lung sounds clear, abdomen soft, fontanel bulging, mm dry, brisk caprefill.”
Dr. Thomas A. Powers from Vanderbilt agreed with Bowling Green’s BESS assessment, adding “no evidence of acute intra-or extra-axial hemorrhage.”
Two days later, Dr. Verena Brown, Vanderbilt’s Child Abuse Specialist, wrote that the ophthalmology consult showed “bilateral retinal hemorrhages” and “macular schisis” (retinal detachment), and stated, “Zadyne has macular schisis, which can only be found accidentally in severe accidents.”
Since Ausia knew of no major traumatic events in her son’s life, Dr. Brown stated that “without any sort of underlying medical problems or history of major trauma, the diagnosis is abusive head trauma.”
In her abuse report, Brown stated that Zadyne had previously been a “healthy baby boy,” disregarding his premature birth, and previous E.R. visits for vaccine reactions. She also claimed that Zadyne had “a questionable healing fracture in the right humerus,” and that an MRI of the spine showed a “dorsal epidural/subdural hemorrhage over the lower thoracic and lumbar spine consistent with inflicted injury.”
Brown changed the previous assessment of BESS, stating that the MRI “clarified these to be actual subdural hemorrhages.” Yet the American Journal of Neuroradiology states:
Although suspicious for NAT [non accidental trauma], subdural hematomas can occur in children either spontaneously or as a result of accidental trauma. Caution must be exercised when investigating for NAT based on the sole presence of subdural hematomas, especially in children who are otherwise well and who have BESS.
Brown reported that Zadyne’s “blood and urine cultures were negative,” thus ruling out meningitis, and wrote that a “bleeding disorder panel for Zadyne had been negative.”
What Really Happened at Vanderbilt and Why Was It Kept a Secret from the Family?
Did Dr. Brown build a “great case” for abusive head trauma citing “subdural and retinal hemorrhages,” and “signs of brain damage (seizures and altered mental state),” the “possible broken humerus,” and the “inflicted spinal injury,” or did she omit critical information in order to draw her conclusions?
On 5/28/14, over a month later, Dr. Brown amended her statement about the “inflicted spinal injury,” stating that upon “re-reviewing the medical records,” the lumbar puncture was caused by the spinal tap. However, Brown clearly noted on 4/23/14 that a “spinal tap” was done, so why did she disregard this information when she made the abuse allegations?
Almost 2 years later, the family subpoenaed medical records that revealed another story of what happened to Zadyne on 8/20/14 in Vanderbilt’s E.R. This is what they learned:
Shortly after arrival, Zadyne lost consciousness and had an ‘apneic event’ that caused hypoxia (low blood oxygen). Hypoxia can cause clots in the veins such as deep vein thrombosis, strokes and severe brain damage.
This ’emergent event’ necessitated endotracheal intubation and supplemental oxygen. Afterwards, a physical exam showed that Zadyne was ‘not breathing over ventilator.’ He was unresponsive and paralytic for about 40 minutes ago.
At 11:43 p.m. on 4/20/14, Zadyne’s pO2-V blood gases registered six to seven times higher than it should have been. The reading was 570 mmHg, but the normal range is between 80 -100 mmHg. High pO2 blood gas level can cause Oxygen Toxicity, which can result in lung collapse, retinal detachment and seizures.
At 12:31 a.m. on 4/21/14, a chest x-ray was ordered and a critical radiology alert was documented, citing, ‘An endotracheal tube is present and is located well into the right mainstem bronchus. A critical or has been sent. There is mild retrocardiac opacity which may represent developing atelectasis’ – (collapsed lung). By 2:00 a.m. the endotracheal tube was withdrawn 2.5 cm to re-position it correctly. An EEG was ordered to rule out continued seizures as a contributing factor to his decline in mental status, ‘although other factors such as infection and recent intubation are most likely playing a major role.‘
When the family arrived at the hospital on the morning of 4/21/14, they were NOT told of these traumatic events, but they noticed that Zadyne’s left eye was crossed. He did not have crossed-eyes before his arrival to Nashville.
The family now contends that the hospital was covering up Zadyne’s medically induced trauma, and this explains to them why Vanderbilt – in an effort to prevent anyone from discovering their medical malpractice – shifted the focus off real medical concerns like vaccine reactions, meningitis, and blood disorders.
Did Zadyne Have Vaccine-Induced Meningitis, Scurvy?
Although Vanderbilt ruled out meningitis due to lack of bacteria culture, the Mayo Clinic explains, “Meningitis can also result from noninfectious causes, such as chemical reactions, drug allergies, some types of cancer and inflammatory diseases such as sarcoidosis.” In a cruel twist of fate, are parents being charged with abusive head trauma or shaken baby syndrome (SBS) by a medical system that should hold themselves accountable for medical abuse due to vaccine injuries?
The article Are Parents Going to Jail for Vaccine Injuries?, explains:
When a medical professional suspects that a baby has been violently shaken, they will examine them for the “triad” of injuries associated with SBS. These are subdural haematomas (bleeds inside the brain), retinal haemorrhages (bleeds behind the eyes) and cerebral edema (swelling or inflammation inside the brain).
Whilst a large percentage of the medical establishment continues to embrace the SBS diagnosis, others have become critical and maintain that the violent shaking of a young child is not the only cause of the triad of injuries.
Mounting evidence suggests that these injuries can also occur after short falls, illnesses such as encephalitis and meningitis, birth trauma, vitamin deficiencies and genetic illnesses such as brittle bone syndrome.
In the same article, several doctors describe vaccines links to the “triad” of symptoms:
Dr. Viera Scheibner wrote:
… in every single case, the symptoms appeared shortly after the baby’s vaccinations.
… these babies were given one or more of the series of so-called routine shots – hepatitis B, DPT (diphtheria,pertussis, tetanus), polio and HiB (Haemophilus influenza type B)– shortly before they developed symptoms of illness resulting in serious brain damage or death.
Dr. Harold Buttram argued that a child had been:
… mistakenly diagnosed as shaken baby syndrome, the true cause of death in our opinions having been a vaccine-induced encephalitis.
Dr. Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati testifying on behalf of parents charged with SBS, said:
…vaccines and medications caused their deaths.
My findings clearly show that the shaken baby “syndrome” (SBS) theory is not supported by science. The SBS theory has been applied since the early 1970’s in cases of babies and toddlers who suffer from subdural and/or retinal bleeding when they do not exhibit signs of external injuries.
Dr. Michael D Innis expounded:
All the evidence points to the fact that children alleged to have suffered from the condition called shaken baby syndrome have evidence of liver dysfunction initiated by an autoimmune response to vaccines causing a deficiency of insulin manifested as Hyperglycaemia. The deficiency of insulin also results in failure of the transfer of vitamin C from the plasma into the cells thereby causing Tissue Scurvy. Intracellular vitamin C is necessary for efficient cellular function and without it a breakdown of tissues and haemorrhage are inevitable as in Tissue Scurvy.
In the article Dangerous Vaccines Found to Cause Symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome, we read:
Professionals are recognizing that shaken baby syndrome is an unsafe diagnosis, due to the evidence being presented with the use of biomechanics. According to Holcomb, the study of biomechanics has proven that humans lack the physical strength needed to cause fatal brain injuries from manual shaking alone. He says that if a child were to be shaken as described in SBS cases, then this violence would result in a high incidence of spinal paralysis from neck injuries in infants, which has never been reported in association with SBS.
Family Court Judge Outraged that Family Sought Second Opinion on Abuse Diagnosis, Revoked Kinship Care
Juvenile Dependency, Neglect and Abuse Petitions were filed with the KY family court against all individuals living in the home with Zadyne: Ausia, Jarvis, and Jarvis’s mother Melanie Evans. On 4/23/14, DCBS social worker Edin Smajlagic placed 8-month old Zadyne and his two-year old sister Amira in kinship care with their paternal great-grandmother, Gracie Evans, as approved by interim Judge Catherine Holderfield.
A new interim Judge Richard Downey denied appointment of counsel on 5/6/14, stating that the Plaintiffs were not deemed indigent. Preparing to represent themselves pro se, the family sought 2nd medical opinions to clear themselves of abuse at the next pre-trial conference on 5/12/14.
On 5/8/14, Gracie, Ausia, and Cassandra, the great-aunt, took Zadyne back to The Medical Center for a full skeletal survey. The results showed that there were “no healing fractures.” The family also scheduled an appointment with a neurologist at the Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY, however, this appointment was canceled after the children were removed from Gracie, the great-grandmother’s home.
The pre-trial conference turned out to be the family’s worst nightmare. Instead of the 2nd x-ray exonerating them, it outraged the judge. When the family tried to speak to defend themselves as pro se, Judge Downey allegedly ordered them to remain silent; tore up and trashed the new medical records, calling them “junk” and “tampering with evidence;” and he refused to call the family by name, instead demeaning them as “these people.”
Not trusting the 2nd opinion from The Medical Center, Smajlagic requested that 3rd skeletal survey of Zadyne be done at Vanderbilt. (On 5/19/14, a 3rd skeletal survey was done which stated that “new bone formation may be related to remodeling or may be a normal variant.”)
Despite the fact that the original removal order did not prohibit Gracie from taking the children to the doctor, Judge Downey was allegedly in an uncontrollable rage, yelling at the great-grandmother:
Who told you to take that child to a doctor? Do not ever take this child to another doctor. Do you understand me?
The family says that Rebecca Gibson, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, also refused to recognize the new x-ray as evidence and continued to say that there was a fracture, and that David Keen, Guardian ad litem (GAL), shouted abruptly:
I would not leave the child alone not for one second in a room with these people.
According to the family, Downey angrily demanded that Smajlagic get with State Troopers claiming that “these people need to be indicted,” and then made an ex-parte ruling to remove the children from Gracie’s custody, not because the children were in imminent danger, but because they sought a 2nd medical opinion. On the removal order, Downey stated:
The former custodian cannot be trusted to protect the integrity of the pending investigation.
The family says:
We were in a state of shock and busted out with uncontrollable tears. Downey removed the children to ensure that we would not have an opportunity to gather medical evidence to prove our innocence.
Children Not Doing Well in Foster Care
When the social worker Smajlagic met the family at the Bowling Green Police Department to remove the children from Gracie’s home on 5/12/14, the family tearfully recalls:
Amira, the two-year-old, was crying hysterically and clinching tightly to her mother’s shoulders because she was very afraid and did not want to leave her family to go with complete strangers. The long term psychological impact on this child for this unnecessary trauma she experienced is unpredictable and unmeasurable.
They have supervised visitation every Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Ausia painfully shares:
My daughter cries the majority of the time when visitation is over because she wants to ‘come home with mommy and daddy.’ Holding back my tears, I said you will come home but not today. She then asked me why. How can I explain to a 3-year-old that her and her brother can’t come home because the people that love them the most are being accused of hurting them? Think about if you were in my shoes.
Ausia says of the children at visits:
Zadyne has not been gaining weight well in foster care. The children show up to visitation with snotty noses, dried and filling their nostrils. Zadyne comes to visitation with full diapers. Amira often smells as if she hadn’t had a bath in days. I believe the foster family has too many foster children to actually make sure that each of the child is getting the adequate care that they need.
Hired Family Court Attorney Gagged and Prevented from Representing Family
At the pre-trial hearing on 6/24/14, Judge Downey appointed three public defenders to represent the family, although the family had already hired Attorney James W. Harris.
According to the family:
Downey openly asked Harris, ‘Why are you representing these people? You don’t know the whole story.’ Harris told the Judge that the family had hired him as their counsel and they wanted to sign a waiver so that all three could be represented by him. Downey would not allow [us] to sign the waiver, and forced the three public defenders upon [us].
The family says that the court placed a gag order on their attorney, preventing him from speaking to the family pending a review from an Ethics Committee, to determine if all three family members could be represented by him. The family claims that public defenders pressured Melanie, the grandmother, to not sign the waiver, because they wanted her to testify against her children Jarvis and Ausia.
Allegedly Downey again demanded of the social worker Smajlagic why the family had not yet been indicted, and Keen, the GAL, volunteered to take paperwork to State Troopers since Smajlagic was “not getting the job done.”
Parents and Grandmother Jailed
The next pre-trial conference was on 8/18/14, and Harris, the family’s attorney, had the waiver for the family to sign so that he could represent them. Just after signing the waiver, deputies approached Jarvis, Ausia and Melanie, presenting them with indictment papers, and then arrested them for First Degree Child Abuse. Melanie stated, “this is the first time I ever saw Judge Downey smile.”
The following day, Downey released the three public defenders from their duties and sent a letter to the jail letting the family know that now they could be represented by Attorney Harris. Jarvis, Ausia and Melanie stayed in jail for a week before being granted a bond hearing. This was particularly difficult for Melanie, as the family explains:
Melanie was put in complete isolation from the other jail inmates for about two to three days. She had no telephone or shower in her cell as was available for inmates in the general population. She was not allowed to participate with the other inmates in the outside breaks. The goal was to break her mentality and force a confession.
Melanie was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2012. Her cancer went into remission in 2013 but returned as a result of the stress related to going through this experience and miscarriage of justice.
Had Melanie spent one more day in jail, she would have lost her job and health insurance. When she returned to work, posters were being distributed throughout her job with a picture of her as a jail inmate.
Family Says Prosecutor Knowingly Allowed Perjured Testimony at Grand Jury
The family says they were denied due process since no complaints or formal charges were filed, and no warrants or arrests were made prior to the indictments being issued, yet Kimberly Geoghegan, Assistant Criminal Prosecutor, convened a grand jury anyway.
After listening to 12-minutes of grand jury tapes, the family claims that Detective Cardwell stated under oath, “at this point, I have not figured out what really happened to the child,” but knowingly give false testimony anyway:
Stating that Zadyne had a ‘possible humeral fracture,’ when the family contends the question of a fracture was settled on May 8th by Bowling Green Medical Center and on May 19th by Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital – Zadyne did not have a humeral fracture.
Claiming that Zadyne had ‘eye surgery’ on 4/24/14, when Zadyne never had any eye surgery – he had a shunt placed for hydrocephalus.
Declaring that Zadyne had never been to the emergency room before 4/20/14, when medical records clearly indicated that Zadyne had been to the E.R. on 2 previous dates following vaccines.
Family Accused of Guilt for Claiming 5th Amendment Rights
The family states that when they invoked their 5th Amendment right to be silent and not “be a witness against themselves,” Geoghegan suggested to jurors that the lack of communication was an “admission of guilt.” According to the tapes, one of the jurors asked, “because they did not communicate, are we to indict them all with the same charge?,” to which Geoghegan and Detective Cardwell answered “yes.”
The family reasons:
The timing of the indictment and a response from an ethics committee was correlated. The family does not believe that there was ever an ethics committee review. This was just an excuse to keep the family from having legal representation until indictments could be obtained. The family also suspects that money may have exchanged hands to buy indictments and convictions so that the truth of what happen the night of April 20th and early morning April 21st would never be uncovered. Our former lawyer once told us, ‘they run the town and they run things as they please.’
Family Attorney Mysteriously Goes Missing
At the 11/10/14 pre-trial conference, Harris filed a motion for Reconsideration of Children’s Potential Placement with Paternal Grandmother. The family says that when Harris attempted to speak on behalf of the family, Judge Downey interrupted him, asking, “who are you working for?,” and when Harris asked Downey to allow his witnesses, Gracie Evans and Cassandra Watts, to testify, Downey said “he was not here to hear witness testimony,” and that “the child had a broken bone and healing fracture,” and then denied the motion to place the children with family.
In October of 2015, the family began studying Zadyne’s blood lab reports, and found labs suggestive of von Willebrand disease. They asked Harris if he could arrange an appointment for Zadyne to see a hematologist. A couple of days later, they say Harris told them he would need to submit a motion to the judge for the doctor appointment, but Harris never filed the motion, and he stopped answering phone calls or responding to text messages, and he closed his office. The family claims Harris has literally disappeared.
DCBS Threatens to Adopt Children
Initially, the family believed that DCBS would return their children, if they just worked the case plan, but later realized that wasn’t so:
When the children were first placed in foster care, we were told by the social worker, Lindsey Young, that she was there to help us get our kids back home and that there was a case plan that needed to be done. At the time, we didn’t know all the facts about the case plan. We didn’t know that we had a right to not sign the case plan. At the time, all we wanted to do was get our children back home as quickly as possible. We signed the case plan.
The case plan included going to all medical appointments, going to parenting/anger management classes, not physically disciplining our children, helping with buying things the children needed, and showing up for visitation. Our visitation supervisor has told us that we are great parents, we have great parenting skills, and if she had the authority, she would let our children come back home with us.
Later, we decided to not follow through with the case plan. We didn’t want the case plan to be an admission of guilt. We believed that we shouldn’t have to follow a case plan to get our children back when we did not do anything wrong.
[At] our last court date, DCBS recommended adoption to the court because we have not completed the case plan. Our [new] social worker, Jason Street, told us that we have completed everything on the case plan except the parenting classes and anger management classes. He said that if we get those done, then they will start the reunification process. We believe that as a lie.
They signed a case plan with us stating that they will notify us of our children’s doctor appointments, but Jason fails to notify us of doctor appointments. There have been times that we have gone to doctor appointments hours away and when we get there, the appointment has been cancelled without notifying us. DCBS has broken their promise to follow the case plan, but they still want us to follow their case plan.
Family Seeking Medical Expert Testimony to Exonerate Them
The family is currently pro se in family court and criminal court.
In the last few weeks, the family has been challenging the prosecutor on dismissing the case as a “defective indictment,” and has subpoenaed all the grand jury records. Since the records were not handed over by 4/29/16, the family has filed a Motion for Contempt of Court, scheduling it on the same day as the next pre-trial conference on 5/23/16.
The family has also contacted the District Attorney who has allegedly told them she will assign a “special prosecutor” to see if there has been any wrongdoing with the way the state handled the grand jury case.
Rather than have the case dismissed on a defective indictment, the family believes that the prosecutor would consider dropping the criminal charges if a medical expert could testify that Zadyne was not abused. The family is seeking a medical expert to testify.
The family says the newly elected family court Judge, Lanphear, is reasonable and respectful, and has allegedly told the family:
If there is no criminal case, then there’s no family court case.
The family concludes:
The things that we are going through are too big for us. We need the support of the public and individuals who share the same goals that we have, and that is to put an end to parents being falsely accused of abuse and stop the corruption within family and criminal courts, and within child protective services. God knows what we are going through and I have confidence that God will deliver us from our enemies.
For more stories about corruption in Kentucky:
Destroying Families in Kentucky via State-sponsored Child Trafficking: United We Stand, Divided We Fall
Kentucky is Being Investigated for Corruption: Will the State’s Sordid History of Legal Kidnapping Finally be Punished?
Is Kentucky The Most Corrupt State in the Country Trafficking Children Through Child “Protection” Services?
Kentucky Parents Found Not Guilty of Charges in Criminal Court but Family Court Refuses to Return Children
For additional info on Vaccines and SBS, see:
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