Children playing in a park. Vector illustration.

Parents who have lost their children after being wrongly accused, even if they do eventually get their children back, have a difficult time going out in public, and observing happy children with their families.

Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

Most of the stories we have covered over the years here at Health Impact News on our website have focused on the unjust and horrible practice of removing children from good parents, and their fight to get their children back.

However, what is seldom reported is what happens to these families after the ordeal is over, even if they are able to have their children returned.

The pain and suffering leave horrendous scars, and as a nation how do we respond to the mother’s question below:

“How will I heal from this?”

From the Facebook Page Rickets an Epidemic- Medical Misdiagnosis of Child Abuse

This is from another mother who is going through the same thing as I and thousands of other falsely accused have.

Even when your kids return the triggers never go away.

Seeing children in public

At the grocery store, in the front part of the cart, picking out vegetables with their mom or dad.

At the library, during story-time or playing with puzzles or gawking at the fish in the giant tank.

On the sidewalk, riding a tricycle, their parents not far behind.

Driving past a proud new mother wearing her newborn baby in a sling.

In Target, passing by the baby aisle and wishing more than anything you could be the glowing woman rubbing her giant belly, staring lovingly at the tiny newborn booties she has in her hands. How you wish your baby could be back in your womb, so you can feel them again, keep them safe from the hands of others and CPS.

The birthday party invitations you have to turn down. The friends you no longer see anymore because they have kids and they can’t get a babysitter, and being around them is just too painful for you.

Acquaintances who don’t know what’s happening who see you in public and ask you how the kiddos are, and you have to say “They’re at their nana’s today.” It isn’t a lie, but it isn’t the truth either. They’re always at their nana’s. Maybe even indefinitely.

Wondering if the CPS workers, the judge, the prosecutor, the accusing doctors, would change their minds if they just saw how much you love your babies, how much your babies love you. Knowing that nothing, not even solid proof, could change their convictions because they lack empathy.

Trying to figure out how people can be so callous and cruel.

Knowing the date the fractures were discovered will never leave your mind. It will be some brutal anniversary you will always acknowledge, even when your “abused” baby is grown with children of their own.

The flashbacks of the hospital. The clamps they put in your baby’s eyes to check for retinal bleeding. The sound of the MRI machine. Your baby’s wailing as they tried to insert an IV.

The one nurse who couldn’t make eye contact with you, wouldn’t make eye contact with you, because she had already made her mind up about the mother whose child has 5 broken bones.

The heavy weight you carry around, knowing CPS could be successful in terminating your parental rights, imprisoning you on false accusations. Your name permanently erased from your children’s birth certificates.

Wishing you could go back to believing every parent whose rights are terminated deserved it. Wishing every headline you read about an abused baby, you don’t question if it was a medical disorder. Wishing you didn’t know how many other parents are going through this, have been through this, who haven’t made it through it.

How will I heal from this?



Allie Parker – This is all so true. Every bit of it. I rarely leave my house. I had the privilege of being a stay at home mom. Due to the financial devastation I got a job. I couldn’t do it. I’m broken. I’m strong for my babies. I’m momma bear. But I am weak and broken. I have no faith. No hope. I have my babies. My husband and my family. Maybe one day I can leave. One day I can go to the store. Not today. Not tomorrow. One day.

Jennifer Gentry Darconte – 6 years ago, and I remember every second of it. We would tell the waitress at our regular breakfast place “The baby’s home with grandma.” My only daughter. My last baby. Not able to be together on her first Mother’s Day.
Thank God she came home. Thank God she is healthy. CPS is broken and bad and none of the good they do is enough to make up for all of the bad.

Elizabeth Young – I am so sorry . This should have never happened. My hope is that someday these child protection workers face punishment for wrongly accusing parents. That the system is changed somehow. My child wasn’t taken away, so I can’t even imagine what you go through everyday. My daughter has EDS, CRPS and POTS and was vitamin d deficient as well . I had a munchausen by proxy investigation but we were cleared. It is something that will never leave me. I still look over my shoulder every day and wonder if it will happen again. I still fear losing my child who is very ill and in a wheelchair. I wish there was a way for you to seek justice for those people who did this to you. I don’t know how you will heal, as trauma remains in your mind but you are helping others. We hope that education of doctors and the system will prevent this from happening. I hope you can somehow heal, but I can’t imagine how you can forget these horrors that happened to you. My heart ❤️ goes out to you, as others will never understand unless they have gone through something like this. Sending healing thoughts and hugs 🤗🙏🏼❤️

In October 1995, a seven-month-old girl died while in the care of this 34-year-old Waunakee, Wisconsin married mother of two. An autopsy revealed extensive brain damage and a pathologist determined the cause of death to be Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Audrey, pregnant with her third child, was arrested, charged and convicted of first-degree reckless homicide. Never wavering once from her claims of innocence, it took nearly 11 years for Audrey to clear her name. With the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project and new medical research that cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of Shaken Baby Syndrome, a court of appeals overturned her conviction in 2008.

During her time behind bars, her husband divorced her, and she missed out on the childhoods of her three young daughters. Today, she continues to pick up the pieces of her life.

You can also read excerpts of her book about her ordeal, “It Happened to Audrey: It Could Happen to You” at


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