Just one month ago, 2 year old Grace Alleluia Beabout-Vega of Ventura County, California, was a happy, thriving little girl. She had just celebrated Christmas with her family, and she was recording a children's album with her mom. Wide-eyed, innocent, and trusting, she took comfort in the love of both her mother and her father, with whom there was obvious mutual adoration. She had no fear. Her world was good.
A trip to the emergency room over a mysterious lump in her side turned their lives upside down. That was Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
When her parents simply said that they wanted a second opinion and to explore treatment options, Child Protective Services swooped in with incredible speed and took her from them.
Today, Grace lies in a strange hospital bed at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. A huge gash stretches across her entire belly. Her tiny body hasn't even had time to recover from the surgery, yet toxic chemotherapy chemicals began being injected into her less than a week after major abdominal surgery.
Her parents have been denied the ability to seek out any alternative treatment options even though they exist. They have been denied "informed consent" at every turn.
Social workers and doctors decide her fate while strangers surround her. Her parents, once her entire world, are forcibly kept away from her except for occasional short visits.
Her mother Leah Beabout says of her daughter:
She's just getting worse and worse. It's like a horror movie.
This may sound much like a futuristic sci-fi horror flick, but it is the present reality for Grace and her family, as well as for thousands of others across the United States of America.
Grace has been medically kidnapped, and she is caught in an epic battle between Child Protective Services and the parents who truly want to protect her.
Her story shows the power of doctors and social workers to take away her liberty, her family, and quite possibly - her very life.