Nagel Lindsey and Rico

Lindsey beat all the odds growing up, but Mayo Clinic and CPS threw her a curve ball she was not able to overcome. Photo supplied by family.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

When Lindsey Nagel gave birth to her son Rico, she recognized that the only reason that she had lived long enough to fall in love and bear a child was because of the courage of her parents to discontinue a dangerous medication for her when she was just 2-years-old.

She was devastated when doctors insisted that the same drug be given to her newborn son. When she hesitated to comply, doctors and a social worker with the Mayo Clinic affiliated hospital called Child Protective Services.

The Nagel story is one of heartache, then triumph, followed by devastation. While no family escapes encounters with Child Protective Services unscathed, the Nagels’ encounter ultimately cost Lindsey’s life.

Like too many parents before and after her, Lindsey’s health declined and she lost the will to live.

She is another tragic casualty in the battle for families waging in our country right now as a result of medical kidnappings.

Lindsey’s mother Cheryl Nagel was a recent guest on the Victurus Libertas show. In the episode entitled, “The Lindsey Nagel Story – #1984 – The State Owns Your Children,” Cheryl shared the stunning saga of her family’s eye-opening encounter with the power of the state and medical establishment combined.

Listen to the story here:

Mayo Clinic Hospital is intimately connected to the Nagels’ story. In the early 90s, they had a good experience with their hospital system. Years later, decisions made by Mayo Clinic destroyed their family.

Mayo was the recent subject of a CNN story of the medical kidnapping of an 18-year-old who was ultimately able to escape. Like the Nagels, the initial experience that Alyssa Gilderhus and her family had with Mayo Clinic was positive.

In both cases, it was after they questioned the doctors and wanted to make their own informed decisions that the doctors fought back to keep control over the situations. Thankfully, Alyssa Gilderhus was able to escape before Mayo was able to follow through on securing a guardianship to seize control of her life.

The Nagels were not so fortunate.

Life-Changing Diagnosis

Their story began in 1990 in an orphanage in Romania. Cheryl and Steve adopted baby Lindsey who was the picture of health at 2-weeks-old. She passed all of the health tests, including the HIV test required by the U.S. government for all foreign adoptions.

Nagel family with baby Lindsey

The Nagels with baby Lindsey. Photo provided by family.

When they returned to their Minnesota home, they went to a local doctor who recommended a full battery of tests for internationally adopted babies. The couple was devastated when the doctor reported that Lindsey was HIV positive, based on different diagnostic levels for the screening test in the United States versus Romania and other countries. Doctors told her that their baby had less than a 20% chance of surviving to age 2.

Right away, Cheryl says she got the medicine that doctors told her would save her baby’s life – azidothymidine, or AZT. She was so determined to follow doctors orders and do what was necessary that she sat down on the floor of the pharmacy to give Lindsey her first dose as soon as she got it.

At that time, AZT was the only treatment available, and its side effects were severe. Lindsey’s health declined. There were times that she stopped growing. As she approached her second birthday, the leg cramps were so severe that she cried out to her parents multiple times in the night to rub her legs.

Doctors told the Nagels that these symptoms were all part of the progression of HIV. They weren’t.

Knowledge Changes Things

It was around that time that Cheryl’s father read an article that would change everything for them. Peter Duesberg, Ph.D., had published research such as this paper in scientific journals that connected the development of AIDS in HIV patients to the use of AZT. He also challenged the mainstream theory that HIV caused AIDS (See paper).

The Nagels wrote to Dr. Duesberg. As a result of what they learned, they decided to take Lindsey off of AZT and started working with a holistic doctor. The results were almost miraculous. She immediately started gaining weight and thriving. Her labs were normal.

Instead of being delighted at her progress, her regular doctors were incensed and called Child Protective Services. The family contacted their attorney, who recommended that they contact Mayo Clinic to see if there was a doctor there who would work with them.

Cheryl says that they found a wonderful doctor at Mayo who agreed to allow Lindsey to stay off of AZT as long as she could be monitored.

With Lindsey’s improved health, life got much better. The parents who had been afraid that they would soon have to plan for their daughter’s funeral began to be able to enjoy life as it came. (See article from LA Times).

Lindsey Nagel age 6 or 7

Despite the HIV positive label, Lindsey’s health improved greatly once she was taken off of the medications. Photo supplied by family.

As she grew up, Lindsey took ballet and played soccer. She was able to have a normal life as a teenager, healthy and free from medication.

Her dramatic improvement led to articles across the country being written about her. They traveled and even spoke at AIDS conferences. (See video). They were guests on the Robert Scott Bell radio show to tell their story. (See Part 1 and Part 2).

Cheryl and Steve went against the mainstream and the reward was their daughter’s life.

Cheryl later learned that there were 10 children in the Minneapolis area who were HIV positive and taking AZT at the time that Lindsey was taking AZT. The only child who grew up was Lindsey. All of the other children were dead.

Bullied into Giving Dangerous Drugs to Her Baby

When Lindsey was 20, she fell in love with a young man named John. By age 22 she became pregnant. They were planning to get married. Since a Mayo Clinic doctor had treated them so well before, Lindsey chose to give birth in a Mayo affiliated hospital. This experience would not go nearly as well as their prior experience with Mayo, which is a research hospital.

According to Cheryl:

The day he was born, a doctor, a lawyer, and a [hospital] social worker appeared in the delivery room and told Lindsey that if she did not give the newborn AZT, Rico would be placed in foster care.

The young mother was stunned. She pointed out that the drug had almost killed her, so why would she want to give that to her new baby. Her father phoned their attorney after the posse left the room. When he hung up the phone, he told Lindsey:

These are some very serious people, and they’re going to take Rico away from you if you don’t comply.

They knew they had no choice. There was no drawn out battle. Lindsey quickly bowed to the demands of the doctors:

Ok. I’d rather give him the medication and have him in my care than have him in the care of a stranger and not ever see him.

Once her parents told the Mayo attorney their daughter’s decision, the attorney reportedly said that he would call off Child Protective Services. But they had already notified CPS, and there was no going back.

nagel Lindsey and baby NICU

Lindsey and baby Rico in the NICU. Photo supplied by family.

Rico, who had been born with respiratory and meconium issues, was whisked away to the NICU almost immediately. The drugs were started right away.

In An Open Letter From Cheryl Nagel published on Celia Farber’s Truth Barrier, Cheryl wrote:

We certainly didn’t know it at the time, but on the second day of Rico’s life, and even possibly, the first day of Rico’s life Dr. Huskins took it upon himself to treat the HIV, and administered an experimental, perhaps controversial, heavy duty drug treatment, presumably intended to shock the HIV out of Rico’s body. The two drugs were Nevirapine and AZT.

But at a CARE meeting a few days later, Dr. Huskins shocked us all with this admission: “I made a mistake,” he said. Instead of giving Rico the intended dose of Nevirapine, he accidentally administered a triple dose.

John asked, “If that does cause damage, what would it look like?”

Dr. Huskins said, “It would be neurological damage.” It was a surreal moment.

It is interesting that this “mistake” was seemingly overlooked, yet we had to wonder why Rico had an MRI while in the NICU. At the time the doctors claimed they were looking for a cause for Rico’s trouble swallowing, and they were wondering why his head circumference was 3% on the growth charts.

I was left wondering if they were actually trying to determine if the triple dose of Nevirapine affected Rico’s brain and neurological function. By March 4, his head circumference was at 9% on the growth charts. And the trouble swallowing was diagnosed by an occupational therapist who came in with a tongue depressor and observed that Rico had a split uvula.

I couldn’t help but make a comparison between what happened to Lindsey and Rico and a little girl in Mississippi, whose story was in the headlines March of 2013. Our stories unfolded concurrently and even the prosecutor questioned Dr. Huskins during the trial about the similarities. She had also been diagnosed as HIV+ and treated similarly with large doses of an experimental drug that was supposed to knock the HIV out of her body. At first it appeared to work, but the HIV reappeared months later at which point the story disappeared from the news. It was difficult to miss the similarities.

Was Rico being used as a research subject?

Lindsey was given the opportunity to willingly participate in Mayo research. She was paid $25 to fill out the form whether she was going to participate or not. She always filled out her forms, saying, “NO, I do not wish to be part of a study.”

CPS had not been involved while Rico was in the NICU for 3 weeks. The family believed the attorney who told them that they had called off CPS. That is why they were shocked when a social worker and police showed up on their doorstep 8 days after they were home with the baby. They seized baby Rico from his devastated mother, accusing her of “medical neglect” because she “might” not treat her baby with the drugs that the doctors at Mayo insisted upon.

Horrible Side Effects from CPS-Mandated Drugs

The drugs were already causing problems. Cheryl told Health Impact News that, for about an hour after each dose, Rico would be congested and his breathing was raspy. The new foster parents didn’t know this, so they took him to the hospital almost immediately after they got him. He was then hospitalized for 52 days.

Lindsey and John were eventually allowed to take him home. However, CPS took medical custody away from his parents. They had no voice at all in his medical care.

Nagel Rico bubbles

Photo supplied by family.

CPS demanded that Lindsey use Skype to record herself giving three different drugs to Rico at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day with the social worker watching. Rico hated the medicines and would cry and arch his back, and many times he would have seizures, all while the social worker looked on.

On one occasion, “Cell biologist Dr. Andrew Maniotis witnessed a dosing of Rico in April 2013.” He described what he saw:

My observations then of this government-ordered, Skype-monitored drugging were consistent with those of his parents and grandparents in January and February, when he was still in the hospital. Rico again, in front of me, arched his back and foamed at the mouth. His mother and I wiped the foam. But because it came out in a significant amount, I was concerned about his airway clearance.

As Rico became listless as the drugs were administered, I poked the baby several times and “tweaked” his nose to check for a response to those stimuli. He didn’t react and was similarly non-respondent for about two minutes. This was a sign of a small seizure, in my opinion. My own research on seizures using electron microscopy showed that the brain is damaged by each and every seizure it experiences. (Source).

This was a common reaction for baby Rico, and he went through this 2 times every day. Lindsey could not miss a day of Skyping or change the time. There were also many doctors appointments. This went on for many months.

Mother’s Health Declines

The stress took a heavy toll on Lindsey’s health and on her relationship with John. It is very common that parents report to us that the constant micro-managing by CPS of their every move causes a great deal of stress. They can never relax, and life is never normal.


Before CPS, Lindsey was very happy and close to her parents. Photo supplied by family.

Cheryl couldn’t believe that this is really America. Her sister said:

This just sounds like a page out of hell.

The fear for their baby’s health and safety was a constant cloud over their heads. The medications did indeed, as Dr. Huskins said, cause neurological damage. Even now, at almost 6-years-old, Cheryl says that he cannot talk or sit up on his own.

Cheryl told us that Lindsey gave up. She grew up feeling like she had a scarlet H on her forehead, yet she had overcome so much in her life. This chapter was one trial after another.

Every time she’d have a dream, someone would come along and squash it.

When Rico was 10-months-old, Lindsey came down with pneumonia. She developed a serious infection and went downhill from there. Was it the HIV coming back with a vengeance, or was it the stress, or simply a broken heart? The family will never know.

After more than a year of being in and out of the hospital, Lindsey passed away at 24-years-old.

Rico lives with his father and is reportedly well-cared for.

Cheryl told Victuras Libertas:

Not only did [CPS] take our grandson away, our daughter gave up on living.

Rising from the Ashes of Despair to Help Others

Cheryl Nagel refuses to let this be the end. She hopes to write a book one day. Meanwhile, Cheryl has become a social media warrior fighting for families.

She runs Mad Angel’s Army Facebook page and other social media groups, and she daily works to encourage and educate parents who are fighting for the survival of their families. She cannot help with legal issues, she says, but she can help educate parents about what it is that they are facing. Cheryl Nagel is a blessing to many.

Mad Angels Army FB page

Victurus Libertas is also dedicated to helping to educate families. Host Angie says:

We started a channel just to expose corruption. We wanted to expose corruption, and CPS seems to be one of the biggest corrupt organizations out there.

Another Medical Kidnap mother, Jennifer Guskin, was also recent guest on the show. She talked about the story of the medical kidnapping of her daughter Iris, as well as some of her horrific experiences being a victim of human trafficking and experimentation as a child. See her story:

Mother Who Was Sexually Trafficked as a Child in Foster Care Has Her Own Baby Medically Kidnapped – Fears for Her Safety