Jennifer Bixley at age 33, after 9 years in Adult Protective Custody. She still cannot come home. Source: Bixley family.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

Someone has told every attorney that I have approached that I am mentally ill/delusional and that my daughter does not have profound amnesia.  All they have to do is talk to my daughter, or listen to my tapes, and they would know the truth. – Jean Bixley

How did we get to a point where a mother’s concerns and advice for her own daughter are ignored?  A mother trying to help doctors determine the path of care for her daughter is now labeled as mentally ill/delusional.  Since doctors have been healers, they have always asked the parent what is going on with the child in order to gain some insight into the disorder.  However, for Jean Bixley, her insight became unwanted, unused, and a means for Adult Protective Services (APS) to step in and take custody of her adult daughter, Jennifer.

Since she was taken in 2006, Jennifer has been in custody for over 9 years in Isanti County, Minnesota.

On August 26, 2006, my vulnerable adult daughter was medically kidnapped by Isanti County, Minnesota, social workers because they did not believe in the illness she was diagnosed with. This illness, known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS, has been recognized by numerous federal agencies as a disabling condition as far back as 1997.

The knowledge of and precedents for procedures for this disease actually go back further.  In 1992, MCS and EI (Environmental Illness) were recognized by the Department of Urban Housing and Development, General Counsel as disabilities.

True, this is in regard to housing, but it also includes confirmation by state and federal guidelines covering disabilities, and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).  However, for Jean Bixley, this precedent holds no bearing in the medical field and in her struggle to have her daughter properly treated for her current condition which Jean believes was caused by the many medications given Jennifer based on her behavior—a behavior that Jean states was triggered by her MCS.

Unfortunately, many mainstream medical doctors also do not believe in the disorder, and that’s how/why this tragedy occurred.  It seems neither social workers nor doctors are bound by the ADA, and our courts do not have to enforce it.

According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, MCS by definition:

is an immune-system disease which most typically affects the lungs, nervous system, digestive tract, and brain. It is caused by hypersensitivity to low-level exposures to chemicals and is precipitated by a single massive exposure or long-term low-level exposure to chemicals encountered in the workplace or at home. MCS can be substantiated by reliable and reproducible laboratory tests and there are M.D.’s in the field of environmental medicine who are trained to recognize and treat it. MCS is a disability recognized by the ADA and the Social Security Administration.

Many M.D.’s in the field of environmental medicine are trained to recognize and treat MCS. Many of them are members of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, which regularly provides education on the illness to physicians.

Health Impact News has previously reported about the health risks of toxic chemicals and fragrances related to MCS. To learn more about this serious medical condition that is one of the most urgent public health issues of our generation, see:

Is Your Health Being Destroyed by Other People’s Toxic Fragrances?

Heavenly Scents or Toxic Fumes – Are your Fragrances Healing or Killing You?

Adult Protective Services Did not Protect, but Caused Further Harm

Jean tells us that her daughter had been seeing and was being treated by trained doctors who provided a diagnosis and treatments for MCS.  According to Jean, both she and her daughter Jennifer contracted MCS while unknowingly living in a mold infested home.  They sought and found treatment for what they came to understand as mold toxicity.  Jean also tells us that these prior diagnoses were ignored by Adult Protective Services, and that her daughter was treated with medications that not only stimulated her MCS reactions, but caused her a loss of memory for the past nine (9) years.

My daughter was always under the care of qualified, medical doctors who understood the disorder and worked to help her.  Because of her inability to completely detox environmental chemicals, she was not able to take allopathic, solvent-based medications.  She would have severe reactions whenever we would try any to treat her seizures (caused by MCS) with medications.  Instead, she was on a ketogenic diet which reduced, but did not totally control her seizures.  What we really needed was help to get the mold out of our home.  Social workers told me that help was available, but that help never materialized.

Social workers were adamant about my daughter being on a medication, even though her qualified medical doctors did not prescribe one and said that it was not a good idea.  When a new social worker, Krystal Huntley-Egemo, came on the scene as the new head of the Adult Protection Unit, … she removed my daughter from my care.  This happened on August 26, 2006, when my daughter had an adverse reaction to cleaning chemicals used by a new physician we started seeing.

Dr. Thomas Sult is a functional medicine doctor who understood the health effects of living in a moldy environment, and he seemed to know about and accept MCS.  I was encouraged when we went to him because he seemed knowledgeable about the protocol to treat mold exposure, and it gave me hope for my daughter. Unfortunately, he did not really have a grasp of the necessity to avoid chemicals when you have MCS, as his clinic used chemicals that caused both of us to have a reaction.

When she had the reaction, I called the doctor trying to talk to him about what was happening and his nurse refused to let me speak to him.  She told me to call 911.  I told her that I wanted to talk to the doctor and she kept telling me “no.”  I was afraid because I knew what would happen if I took her to the hospital … the doctor would have the nurse call Isanti County to report that I was refusing to take my daughter to the emergency room.

Daughter Medically Kidnapped after Calling 911

I did call 911 and, after talking to the dispatcher about what was happening, she told me that my daughter was OK, but she decided to send the ambulance anyway.

I know now I shouldn’t have let them past my door.

My daughter was taken to the hospital where she was medically kidnapped by local police, doctors and social workers.

Bixley at 24

Jennifer Bixley at age 24, before she was taken from her family. Source: Bixley family.

Daughter Loses Entire Memory in APS Custody – Mother Not Allowed Input into Her Care

Jean tells us that Jennifer has been in that system for the past nine years with no recollection of her past life, and no recognition of her home. Her visits are sparse and although Jean is allowed to visit with her daughter, she has not been able to bring her daughter home since 2014. This has been Jennifer’s only visit since she was taken in 2006.

Jean may not discuss her amnesiac condition,  or any health problems, unless Jennifer brings up the subject.  This mother can not discuss her daughter’s legal rights with her at all.  If the legal subject is breached, the visit monitor changes the subject.

Jean is asking to be allowed to have some input into her daughter’s care.  Jean is asking that the hospital/APS perform the tests that were ordered by the courts, but never performed by what Jean says are any MCS qualified physicians in the APS system.  Jean is asking to be allowed to be a part of her daughter’s life making sure that she is being treated properly and according to her needs.  These are basic familial rights.  Who does she turn to when it is the system itself that is denying her contact with her daughter?

After a few days, she was transferred from Cambridge Medical Center to MINCEP for a 24 hour EEG. She had her legs and arms tied to her bed and she was struggling to reach her head to get the electrodes off….

I was told that if she wasn’t “cooperative’ that she would be returned to Cambridge Medical Center without doing the test.  A while later my daughter was returned to CMC in a straitjacket.  The doctor at CMC told me that she would be put on Risperdal for her behaviors … behaviors she never had until she was given medications that are contraindicated for her sensitivities (which included the glue being used to place the electrodes).

As required by Minnesota statute, there was a hearing within 5 days of the hold.

The judge refused to look at the documents that I had brought with me that showed she had been diagnosed by 4 medical doctors, and that she had been accommodated in school for her sensitivities.  Instead he advised me to give them to the GAL that would be appointed.  I told him that my daughter needed to be accommodated, and that she could suffer a brain injury if she was not.  He made no order for accommodation, and it appears she has suffered a brain injury that took the memory of her entire life.  Contact with my daughter was severed at this time because, supposedly, a doctor suggested it was necessary until testing was complete.

I filed a complaint with the United States Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights. The OCR agent told me that if my daughter had an MCS diagnosis from a Minnesota physician, then she would have to be accommodated.  That accommodation never happened.

Jean continued her fight for Jennifer, but only to find that after she filed complaint after complaint, the hospital accused and made a finding against her for maltreatment.

It was only after I filed this complaint and the OCR had spoken to the social workers that I received a letter (postdated to just prior to when I made the complaint) informing me that maltreatment had been substantiated.  There wasn’t an explanation of what had been substantiated, only one or two lines stating that it was.  A longer, explanatory letter would arrive later.  It was apparent that the maltreatment charges were in retaliation for my making a complaint, and they were fraudulent.

I was charged with not having her on a medication, and for keeping her life restricted.  I cannot prescribe a medication and social workers were well aware that her doctors did not prescribe one.  Their expert witness at trial, a neuropsychologist that my daughter had seen, told me in a letter that my daughter needed to be in the restrictive environment that I was providing because of her cognitive dysfunction.

Jean Bixley asserts that her daughter, Jennifer, was said to have had dementia in 2006.  Jean insists that her daughter, prior to the mold toxicity, was labeled as ‘gifted’ by her school and that none of these conditions existed prior to the mold encounter.

Mother Pleads for Proper Diagnosis and Treatment

So, what is being done for Jennifer?  There are current procedures that can be used to identify changes in the brain caused by mold toxicity.  Jean believes that Jennifer has not been scanned for these identifiable factors.

This mother is only allegedly asking to be a part of the solution, not a problem for the APS system—a system that should be working for Jennifer’s recovery, but which instead is reportedly planning for her long term care.  Shouldn’t everything possible be done for Jennifer before APS adds another body to their ever amassing pile of in-house revenue?

APS has an obligation to the Minnesota residents to aid them when they cannot help themselves, not absorb residents for revenue.  Bring Jean some peace.  Should they not be attempting to identify the true issues behind Jennifer’s illness and give her a chance at having her own life and contact with those she loves?

The following information was taken from Recognizing Neurotoxicity, by R. Singer. 2006:

It is not unusual for patients suffering from neurotoxicity to be misdiagnosed as having psychological problems because of their depression and anxiety levels, the sheer number of their symptoms, and their belief that chemicals made them ill. To minimize this error, choose among the most qualified experts you can find: Psychologists, neuropsychologists, or psychiatrists who are familiar with chemical injury, neurotoxicity, and MCS…

Neuropsychological testing tends to be more sensitive to brain injury than CT and routine MRI scans, which provide only a static and relatively gross view of neural structure. In one study of six head-injury cases, CT and/or MRI scans yielded little or no evidence of neuropathology as detected by neuropsychological testing. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans, however, corroborated the impaired function.4 PET and SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans offer a more dynamic look at brain structure, but both of these tests still need interpretation as to the cause of the abnormality (which could be benign).

Call to Action

Please contact Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, and ask him to make APS return custody of Jennifer to her mother so she can get proper treatment she is not receiving.

Gov.  Mark Dayton,  Lt. Gov–Tina Smith

The Governor’s Office has moved to the Veterans Service Building for the duration of the Minnesota State Capitol renovation.

Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor
116 Veterans Service Building
20 W 12th Street
St. Paul, MN 55155


Send your questions and comments to Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith.

Telephone Numbers

Telephone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Minnesota Relay: 800-627-3529
Fax: 651-797-1850