In 2014, Health Impact News brought you a story about a Jonesborough, Tennessee, couple Joe and Charlotte Whitaker, who were accused of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). The local police charged the couple following a 911 call from Joe Whitaker on August 15, 2013, when their son, Jaden, became unresponsive. Jaden was diagnosed with the controversial Shaken Baby Syndrome by a “child abuse specialist," Dr. Mary Palmer of the University of Knoxville Medical Center. In an update to this tragedy, the formerly happy family of five has lost everything. The couple lost their son to the state in 2014, and recently Charlotte lost her husband, home, and job. Joe Whitaker is now in jail for a crime his family says he did not commit.
On August 15, 2013, in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Joe Whitaker frantically spoke to 911 as he tried to save his seven month old son, Jaden. According to Joe, the ambulance raced into their driveway. A female Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) jumped out, grabbed Jaden from his arms, slammed the ambulance doors, and sped away. Joe stood in the driveway watching the ambulance pull away, confused with the events that just occurred. What happened? Where were they taking his son? Why did they leave without him? Seconds later, Charlotte Whitaker reached her house and saw Joe standing in the driveway; her heart jumped into her throat. Where was her son? Luckily, the second rescue truck was still in front of her house, and the driver told the terrified parents that their son was being taken to Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) in Johnson City, Tennessee. Why would the ambulance leave the parents in the driveway? According to Charlotte, this is one of many incidences that would be twisted by CPS to aid them in falsely accusing the Whitakers of child abuse and taking their baby. This question became "Why didn’t Joe Whitaker get into the ambulance with his son?" rather than "Why did the rescue personnel leave the parents behind?" Later that day their other two children would be taken away from their school, never to return home again, while both parents would later be arrested and accused of "Shaken Baby Syndrome."