Health Impact News Editor Comments
We were able to report on the Geer family’s fight with CPS in Michigan back in April of this year (2015), because the local media in Detroit did a great job in publishing their story. The Geers were more fortunate than most of the families we have reported on who have had their children medically kidnapped by the State due to a doctor’s testimony, as their community was outraged and showed tremendous support, and the local media also did their job in covering the story. See:
Melissa Geer recently contacted Health Impact News to give their full story. The Geer family story is an example of how the new pediatric specialty of Child Abuse Specialist is tearing apart innocent families. The Geer family story is also a great example of how local communities need to stick together and fight for their families against government medical tyranny.
A Nightmare Experience for One Family in Michigan
by Melissa Geer
Special to Health Impact News
On November 8th 2014 we decided to have our Christmas tree and house decorating party – earlier than usual as I had a feeling the babies would arrive early. On this very day contractions started and didn’t stop getting closer and closer. That evening we put our older 3 boys to bed and explained that the babies may be arriving soon.
Twins Born Premature via C-section
After 24 hours of trying unsuccessfully to stop labor I went in for c-section to deliver Joshua and Thomas 7 weeks early.
Despite their prematurity and low birth weights they were doing amazing. We knew right away Joshua had some similar facial characteristics of our 3 year old son with Goldenhar Syndrome and it was confirmed 3 days later.
After a month in the hospital the boys came home. Joshua was having some abnormal blood work, noted to have small kidneys and within a week of discharge his pediatrician became concerned that his metopic bone may have fused prematurely and a week later it was confirmed he had craniosyntosis. Within a day of this news and researching this condition and the surgery needed we knew there had to be other options and Tony found a non invasive neurosurgery option at our home away from home Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Surgery Needed for Twin with Craniosyntosis
In a week’s time we drove to Ohio and met this amazing surgeon and knew that not only was the surgery easier, it had more success and recovery much quicker. This was the best place for our baby. We made arrangements for surgery the following week.
The day before we were scheduled to leave, Joshua developed a horrible case of RSV. His breathing was incredibly labored getting worse by the minute and was transported to Mott Children’s Hospital by ambulance. He spent 8 days in the hospital recovery and his surgery was cancelled. Thomas also developed RSV and was able to recover at home.
We then had to wait 5 weeks for Joshua to fully recover before the surgery could be rescheduled which also put us at the maximum age he could be to have this non invasive procedure. We kept the kids in as much of a bubble as we could while we waited.
On March 2nd, surgery was scheduled and despite some abnormal labs they were able to proceed and succeed. There is nothing like watching an infant no bigger than your hand go in an OR to have “brain surgery.”
I was so sick that morning. I wasn’t sure if it was nerves or the flu as it could have been either. The following evening Joshua was discharged and we stayed a night at Ronald McDonald house to be sure he recovered well before traveling home to MI.
Post-surgery X-rays Allegedly Reveal Fractured Ribs Caused by Abuse
That night Joshua started to vomit a bit, and after debating do we or don’t we, we decided to take him to the ER to be sure all was well before we traveled home. I was reluctant to take him to the ER after brain surgery for risk of infection, germs, but we wanted to be safe before driving home.
After deciding to do an X-ray of Joshua’s abdomen to be sure his throwing up was viral, the Doctor came in the room and we knew right away something was not right.
We knew this look as we have experienced it many times before. We basically had to beg her to spit it out but never in a million years did I expect what she said. “It appears Joshua has multiple rib fractures that could only most likely be caused by abuse. We have contacted social work, we would like to ask you some questions, get more X-rays, a cat scan and blood work.”
Everything was a blur. The day went on and we found out that Joshua only had 1 fracture and they had seen shadows and that his blood work was a little concerning so they called hematology. …It appeared that we would be discharged as they were not concerned and then after a long day they came in and told us they had to contact CPS in Michigan and they would follow up with us the next day.
Distraught Mother and Father Do Everything to Comply with the Ongoing Investigation
That night my husband and I laid at the Ronald McDonald House in each others arms, and cried and thought what in the world is happening and what would happen. Do we need an attorney, what kind of attorney, what could have happened?? In the end we knew the truth would prevail.
The next day we arrived home and were greeted by CPS and asked to take all children including Thomas to Mott Children’s Hospital to be checked out. We of course complied trying to keep the kids calm and not concerned.
All kids checked out and Thomas went through a skeletal survey and came back all good. The ER doctor told me to keep doing what we were doing and I laughed and said, “Can I record that?”
We thought well this sucks but they are doing what they need to do. This is what I do so I understand mandated reporting, better be safe…. as hard as it was I got it.
We were on a voluntary safety plan where my sister, brother-in-law or mom needed to be with us at all times. This was supposed to be 3 days, and then time kept going by. We asked what the holdup was and were told they needed another opinion. We thought this was strange but it must be procedure.
Children Seized and Traumatized by Police and CPS on Testimony of Doctor Who Never Examined Them
They couldn’t get the X-rays from Cincinnati so Tony took a day off work and drove down round trip to get the X-rays disk. We handed it over and 5 days later my doorbell rang at 5:40 p.m. and I looked outside to see 3 police officers and 2 CPS workers who explained that they were removing the children from our care as this doctor that never met our kids says Thomas has 5 rib fractures most likely caused by abuse.
Imagine this moment for a second. I have 2 boys ages 9, and 8 running into their room to hide and a 3 year old asking what is wrong. My world is crashing and I am trying to calm and reassure them, call my husband to bring the babies home from the sitters, call my sister to tell her the babies are coming to her house, pack bags for everyone, figure out cars and car seats all while shaking uncontrollably being told I need to go to court the next day at 1 p.m. as the state is filing a petition to terminate our parental rights.
Just writing this brings a stress no parent should ever experience and most thankfully never will. I will forever have this image engraved but most importantly Joe and Noah will never forget.
As I buckled my bigger boys into a stranger’s car I stopped and prayed with them. I told them Mom and Dad would do everything we needed to get our family back together, that the truth would prevail, God would protect us and we would have an army of friends and family to help us reunite.
I told them to be strong because I know they are and to always be respectful because that is how we raised you. With those words I kissed my boys and said good bye, walked in my house and fell to my knees and cried a cry I have never cried and hope to never cry again.
The Fight to Return the Children to our Custody
I then spent the next 12 hours trying to find an attorney and prepare for court the next day at 1 p.m.
The months that followed were filled with such emotional turmoil. My kids were separated. Babies with grandma and bigs with Aunt Michelle and Uncle Doug, we moved out of our house to allow the big kids to have as much normal as they could.
I spent every moment I had trying to figure out how to reassure the kids, spend as much time as I could with them and learn as much as I could about the law and medicine.
I knew we never hurt our kids, as they are our whole reason for being, so what was wrong? I would spend my morning with the babies, go to work for a few hours in the afternoon, be home for the big kids when they got out of school, say good night to bigs, go and say goodnight to babies and then drive out to White Lake.
I would then spend hours at night reading every article I could find, talking to other families, and contacting doctors to ask for help. I would then compile packets of medical information and X-ray disks and ship them off to experts around the U.S. in hopes they would be able to find what was going on with my babies. Then I would get up the next day and do it all over again.
My focus was solely on keeping my kids as content as I could and finding an explanation for the fractures. I would have these moments of complete devastation and outright panic in the reality of what was happening.
I remember being in CVS one day and the reality of the State of Michigan wanting to terminate my parental rights hit me. I became paralyzed and sobbed uncontrollably thinking I was going to collapse and trying to figure out who I could call to come get me. This on top of the countless nights I cried myself to sleep in Tony’s arms.
Everything we do is for them. How this could be happening to us was beyond my comprehension.
Faith, Family & Friends
We would not have made it through this horrific events without these 3 things. I can not express in words how much these three things meant to us. I would say daily that I didn’t know how people would get through without these 3 things. I felt so weak but these things kept me strong.
To watch my 9 year old experience a full out panic attack, and my 8 year old hold me so tight I couldn’t breathe begging me to stay the night, and my 3 year old ask me nightly why I couldn’t stay with him because this was our house. Then to have 2 breastfeeding babies who could only see their dad for like an hour a day and mom not much more than that at a crucial time of bonding with us – there is nothing more heart breaking.
Despite these awful realities we choose every night to focus on our amazing family, taking care of our precious cargo, the ability to keep them out of “foster” care, stay in or close to home, and see us daily along with supportive employers that stuck with us in a time of complete chaos and change.
Victory: “We Have Won this Battle, but our War is not Over”
On June 15th we turned over our discovery to include 8 expert witnesses all indicating the twins suffered from a metabolic bone disease and rickets of prematurity. After reviewing these reports on June 18th the state withdrew their petition and our nightmare ended. Sadly for many others they are still battling.
We have won this battle but our War is not over, and we hope many of you will want to assist and look at the bigger picture here.
We always understood the need to protect the children and investigation. In fact, we tried to assist in this process as much as we could.
We Do Not Believe it is OK to Tear Apart Innocent Families in Hopes to Find Abusive Ones
The first problem is the lack of investigation.
Once a doctor who never met us or our kids said there could be abuse – the investigation was over. Nobody took the time to get to know our kids, Tony, myself, my pregnancy or details of the twins medical history. In fact, our pediatrician tried to contact them and offer additional info about the twins vitamin D levels, and they simply said, “Sorry, its in the courts hands.”
When I would talk to doctors that wanted to help, they would spend 10 minutes with me on the phone and be in disbelief that our kids were removed.
Between my health history, and the twins prematurity and health problems, they said we were a perfect storm for fragile bones. My response was always the same -“I don’t think they know because nobody took the time to ask or find out.” And I didn’t know as this is all new to me.
Problem number 2 is that Child Abuse Doctors  are trained and paid to only find child abuse.
They are supposed to rule out differential diagnoses such as metabolic bone diseases, which Josh’s labs clearly indicated. Thomas’s labs weren’t even completed until 3 weeks after the kids were removed, despite the recommendation the day after removal.
One of the doctors claiming we abused our kids didn’t even have that lab work, and never met the twins or myself. He knew nothing about the type of pregnancy I had.
There is no data on unexplained fractures in infants, as infants are not routinely X-rayed. The question becomes, what if we randomly X-rayed infants on a regular basis? Many doctors concur that we would be seeing a lot of unexplained fractures. We just don’t know how easy it is to fracture because we don’t X-ray.
It is a lie to say that these babies experienced pain and discomfort (due to these hidden fractures.) I can assure mine did not. Had it not been for Joshua’s vomiting and us being cautious, we would have never discovered these fractures.
Problem number 3: the lack of rights for parents in family court. In this system when you are charged in family court of child abuse, it is up to you to prove your innocence. They can remove your kids based on hearsay, and you are guilty until proven innocent. So many people don’t have the knowledge or resources to accomplish this fight. This is not right.
The New “Child Abuse Specialist”: Wreaking Havoc on American Families
I have watched many TV shows in my life where people are falsely accused, and I always thought that would be so awful. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than being accused of abusing the kids that you would lay down your life for.
Sadly, people are convicted criminally of this crime with no evidence other than a child abuse pediatrician claiming child abuse, and many other families lose their children for months or years as they try to prove their innocence.
How does a system set up to protect children not take into consideration the fact that what they are doing potentially causes an irreversible emotional damage that nothing could repair?
Why do we think “better safe than sorry” when innocent families are being torn apart so we can be “safe”? The truth is we were in a voluntary safety plan and we complied and understood. In fact we wanted to help. Was it necessary to show up at my house with 3 police officers unannounced and traumatize my kids forever?
We acknowledge CPS workers have a difficult job and they have a lot of responsibility. This is an unbelievable weight on their shoulders. But why do we jump? Why can’t we look at the whole picture? Why is what they do more important than what our family went through – unjustly?
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