Sarah Hershberger is the 10 year old Amish girl that escaped from the U.S. in Sept. 2013 to avoid hospital demands and court orders to undergo 2 years of experimental chemotherapy against her and her parents wishes and advice from other health experts. (See: Ohio Amish Girl Escapes with Parents from Forced Chemotherapy, Father Claims She was on Experimental Drugs Without Consent.) Sarah had received natural treatments at home and left the U.S. for further treatments and is now 100% free from leukemia, according to the parents. They want to return home without fear of being arrested and Sarah being taken away.
Donations are being used for natural foods, nutritional supplements, natural medicines and treatments so that the leukemia does not return. Also, Sarah and the parents need food, clothing, and housing while they are outside the country, and travel expenses to come back home when it is safe.
80% of the funds generated will go directly to the Hershberger’s and 20% will be donated to the Foundations for Health Education to help pay expenses related to supporting this case.
In this interview (unedited interview above) by Chris Wark, Isaac Keim, the grandfather of Sarah Hershberger, explains why the family fled the United States to avoid having their daughter continue with what they report was a drug trial of experimental chemo therapy drugs. A court in Ohio has already awarded custody of 10-year old Sarah to the Akron Childrens Hospital’s attorney (See: Ohio Amish Girl Escapes with Parents from Forced Chemotherapy, Father Claims She was on Experimental Drugs Without Consent)
Mr. Keim explains that when the second round of chemotherapy was to begin, a nurse sent Sarah home with the drugs, but warned the parents that none of their other children should get a hold of the drugs, as they “could cause cancer.” Sarah was so sick, she could not even get out of bed, and she refused to go through any more chemotherapy. The parents and grandparents felt that the drugs were killing Sarah.
Mr. Keim then explains that as the family went to the hospital for their next appointment, they explained that they wanted to discontinue treatment. The family was escorted into a conference room where they were berated by medical staff, particularly the doctor, and threatened that if Sarah did not continue treatment, she would die within a couple of months. But Sarah was already responding positively without the drugs, and the family even offered to bring her in to the hospital for regular checkups so that they could monitor her condition. The doctor and hospital refused. Mr. Kleim reportedly told the doctor that he too had refused cancer treatment in the past, as was warned that he would only live for 6 months, but he remains alive and cancer free until today. The doctor reportedly told Mr. Kleim to “Shut up,” because his case was not related to Sarah’s.
When it was clear the parents would not give in to their threats, the doctor threatened to take them to court for child abuse, according to Mr. Kleim. The hospital did allow the parents to take Sarah home, after they signed statements that a medical doctor would be employed to look after Sarah, which the family complied with.
Then, according to Mr. Keim, the hospital tried to turn their case over to Child Protection Services (CPS), but CPS refused to take the case. So they filed a case against the parents in “probate court” instead, according to Mr. Keim. After three days of court testimonies from both sides, the judge ruled that the parents were looking out for the best interest of their daughter, and that the hospital had no jurisdiction to remove the child from her family, and turn her over to someone in the hospital who did not even know the child.
The hospital then apparently tried to get CPS to take up the case again, but they refused a second time. Not giving up, the hospital then appealed the judge’s decision to the 5th district court of appeals. A multi-judge panel still refused to grant custody of Sarah to the hospital, so the hospital appealed again, to the 9th district court of appeals, which threw the case back to the original judge in probate court. Once again, however, Judge John Lohn refused to award custody to a nurse, who is also the attorney representing the hospital. “They live a simple life, but this does not mean they are simple-minded,” Judge Lohn wrote in the ruling, according to ABC News.
According to Mr. Keim, the hospital then appealed a second time to the 5th district court, but they refused to re-hear the case. So the case was appealed once again to the 9th district court of appeals, and they finally ruled in favor of the hospital, to take custody of 10-year old Sarah. The parents were apparently forewarned by their attorney that they were finally going to lose the case, because the hospital reportedly found a different judge in probate court that would side with the hospital, in fear of losing his job, according to Mr. Keim.
So, according to Mr. Keim, the parents and Sarah “just disappeared.” The family is now outside of the U.S., and there was apparently a subpoena issued for Sarah to appear in court on November 6th. CPS is now coming around every week looking for the family, according to Mr. Keim.
Mr. Keim also reported that Sarah has been tested as cancer-free at this point, and that when they asked the doctor at the hospital what he would do if she tested completely free of cancer, he reportedly replied that he would still put her back on chemotherapy for “preventive” purposes. Mr. Keim reported that Sarah has been tested multiple times and is completely healthy at this point, since ceasing the chemotherapy. She can reportedly get the treadmill going up to 10 mph for 15 minutes at a time.
It was also stated in the video that the Hershbergers’ have accumulated huge legal bills, and that the parents want to return to their home and be reunited with their other 6 children. Sarah’s father, Andy, suffered a nervous breakdown over the whole ordeal, and has not been able to work to support the family.
Mr. Keim related how the mainstream media refused to interview them, supposedly because they the Amish refuse to be photographed or filmed.
Is Akron Children’s Hospital Backing Out of This Case?
Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH) wants to back out of their involvement with the Sarah Hershberger forced-chemo case according to two reports received by the Journal from family friends at the courthouse. This was the result of yesterday’s conference with Maria Schimer (the hospital attorney/nurse that the courts have awarded custody of Sarah) and Hershberger’s attorney with the probate judge who was quoted as saying ACH wants to back out. It is not surprising the hospital may be wanting out. There has been such an uproar and backlash created by alternative media outlets in Northeast Ohio and throughout the world, and talk amongst the Amish communities–not to mention all the phone calls, letters and emails to ACH.
Sarah’s parents explained how they were mistreated by Akron Children’s Hospital. They were not told that Sarah’s treatment was an experimental research study, they were not given proper warnings of the side effects, and they did not give written permission for the second phase and after the final tests. ACH may have exaggerated the extent of Sarah’s cancer. They said the hospital managers said they would not monitor and test Sarah periodically if they stopped the chemo and the Hershbergers wanted to work together with the hospital but they refused this medical assistance with the only test equipment in the area.
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