by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
Texas parents Claire and William Rembis are scared for their son’s health since he was taken from his family in late August 2016. Alex, who is almost 16, has a seizure disorder that was under control when he lived at home with his parents and 10 siblings. But he has recently been experiencing more seizures, and his parents believe that the actions of Child Protective Services social workers and the staff of the group home he was placed in have put his health in serious danger. According to Claire:
Alex has had uncontrollable seizures ever since being in CPS custody & there is a history of the group home not giving him his medications.
Recently, the Rembis parents were thrown out of Covenant Children’s Hospital, the hospital where Alex was being treated, despite a court document ordering that “Mr. and Mrs. Rembis will attend all medical appointments pertaining to their children ….”
They hadn’t caused any problems or done anything to provoke being thrown out. The doctor and hospital security were allegedly enforcing the wishes of the CPS social worker, who insisted that the parents leave the hospital.
Claire said that they simply wanted to be with their son during his medical emergency. Like any normal parent, they did not want to leave his side until they knew he was no longer in danger, and until they had some answers. Instead, they were forced to leave without the answers that they desperately sought.
CPS Leaves Out Vital Information
Worse, they learned that between the social workers and the group home parents, vital medical information was not given to the doctors in charge of Alex’s care. Just as many other parents have reported to Health Impact News, the doctors treating the child in foster care were missing vital information which would affect the care given to the child.
They were never informed that their seizure patient had ITP, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, which is a rare blood disorder involving low platelets. Platelets help blood to clot, and patients with low platelets are at risk of severe bleeding. For a patient suffering from seizures, who could potentially bang his head against the floor or bed, this is important need-to-know information. But the doctors apparently didn’t know this, because the people in charge of “protecting” Alex allegedly didn’t tell them.
Claire says that she received a text Monday afternoon, November 28, informing her that Alex had another seizure at school, (he had one on October 18 as well), and that he was being taken to the hospital. She and her husband immediately went to meet their son at the hospital. He was released shortly after they got there, and they all headed to the CPS office for the family’s scheduled visitation.
Alex was not permitted to ride with his parents, and had to ride with the foster parent. They hadn’t gone 6 blocks when Alex began having another seizure. The foster parent pulled over and called 911. Alex was transported back to the hospital.
As soon as Claire and William arrived for the visit with the rest of the children, social worker Jennifer Garlett took Claire aside to tell her that Alex had another seizure. Distraught, Claire and William asked if their visit with the other children could be rescheduled so that they could go back to the hospital.
Their request was denied. They spent the hour with the rest of their children. Before they left, Jennifer reportedly stopped them to ask if they were going to the hospital. She informed them that they would only be permitted to stay with Alex for 1 hour. This made no sense to the Rembises, who pointed out that there was nothing in the court order limiting time with their children in the hospital, and that this was an emergency.
The social worker threatened to call security if they stayed past 1 hour. Instead of arguing with the social worker, they walked away and went back to the hospital.
Platelet Condition Could Be Devastating
While they were there, Claire says that she asked if the staff had checked Alex’s platelet level. She was told that there was no need to check for that, since he was at the hospital for seizures. It took a great deal of effort for her to get anyone to listen to her tell them that Alex has a low platelet condition. It’s a very simple test, she says, and they finally did it. It wasn’t till after they left that the results came back. Claire wrote:
a normal range for platelets is 150-400. His are at 199. This is normal but low normal. Alex has ITP (the doctors treating him today weren’t told that he has ITP!). I asked for the platelet count and the Dr. agreed that it was important – thank goodness. This is very important. We almost lost Alex when he was 2 & he received a wonderful wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation because we didn’t know if he would make it.
By the grace of God sweet Alex is in remission. He has done very well watching his diet and making other healthy choices. It’s paid off! That being said, his platelets can drop at any time and if they are too low, he can start hemorrhaging internally and externally. Obviously, this is important to know about with a kid jerking around and bumping his head on a hard surface during a seizure. Seizures have the power to be fatal on their own so factoring in the ITP too? VERY SCARY.
Please pray that his platelets stay in a safe zone. Mostly, pray for answers and a miraculous, complete healing.
One person at the hospital blamed his seizures on his size – “probably because he’s a big kid” and needed a bigger dosage.
Several times during the course of the evening, Claire says that she asked staff if they had checked Alex’s medication levels, but no one ever gave her an answer. She wanted to know why her son was suddenly starting to have seizures, when they had been under control when he was at home. The group home had reportedly neglected to give him his medication once during the previous month, which resulted in Alex having a seizure then. Could this be what happened this time?
Claire asked her son if he had taken his medicine yesterday. She says that he looked around the room at the social workers, then responded:
That’s what THEY said. I don’t remember exactly.
He paused, then continued cryptically:
Previous week has been rather long, and I don’t think I have the sharpest memory of it, because I don’t want to remember ANY of this place.
The children have been forbidden to talk about “their case” with their parents, so Claire has no idea what that means. It was Alex who recently wrote a poem called “Dearest String,” which his parents recognized as a cry for help. See poem here.
Parents Kicked Out of Hospital Without Court Order
Without answers and without assurance that their son was going to be OK, the hospital staff complied with the social worker’s demand that Claire and William Rembis leave the hospital. They recorded their encounter with the doctor and security guard who forced them to leave.
The doctor told the Rembises that he had seen the court order and that they can’t stay there at the hospital, but that is not what the court order says. There is nothing in the document that says that the parents cannot stay with any of their children in the hospital. In fact, the opposite is true.
Claire and William left the hospital Monday night without hugging Alex goodbye. Claire told Health Impact News that they have learned from prior experience that the social workers tend to “flip out” whenever they hug or kiss their children during any medical visits. Somehow, she says, it is different in regular visits, and they are allowed to hug and kiss their kids, but they have learned that it is “obvious that it is not OK” during medical appointments or visits. They don’t want to cause “more drama,” so they go against every natural parental instinct and refrain from hugging or kissing their children at hospital or doctor visits. “It’s hard,” says Claire. All she wants to do is love and protect her kids.
Mother Worried about Child in “Protective” Custody
It was in the wee hours of Tuesday morning that Claire posted on Facebook:
I can’t sleep.
How is Alex feeling right now? Is he scared? Has anyone explained to him what is happening w/his body? Does he feel abandoned by us? Will he have more when we are not there? Is this epilepsy more serious than the, “typical” epilepsy? Are his siblings worried about him? Are the nurses giving him the right medications & are they being administered on time? Are they listening to him when he expresses his concerns, fears or needs?
We almost lost Alex in 2002 & we never, ever, EVER take his beautiful life for granted. Mostly, does he feel loved? Does he feel like he is surrounded by people that care about him?
Later on Tuesday, as Claire and William were heading to the hospital, they got a text from the social worker that Alex was being discharged and being sent back to the group home. They still don’t know if anyone checked Alex’s medication levels to make sure that the foster parents gave him his seizure medication.
All this heartache and risk to their child came to their doorstep, even though there have never been any findings of neglect or abuse against the Rembises. Yet, 10 of their 11 children remain in state custody.
There is a Facebook page set up for supporters to follow their story.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott at (512) 463-1782, or reach him here.
Health Impact News has set up a page to financially help the Rembis family during this difficult time. Go to this link to donate:
To follow the Rembis story, you can read all our previous articles below:
ORIGINAL STORY 8/4/2015:
Innocence Destroyed: Case Against Texas Homeschool Family Dismissed as Traumatized Children try to Rebuild Their Lives
Texas Judge Allows Mother to Homeschool Her Own Children – Denies Request to Vaccinate Children While in State Custody
Other stories about Texas:
California Family Traveling Through Texas Loses Children to CPS After Autistic Daughter Drowns in Accident
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