Dear doctor who misdiagnosed my baby with shaken baby syndrome

Sometimes I worry that I can’t protect my children from doctors like you. I am so glad that there are people who dedicate their lives to helping children, but please understand that not every parent you talk to is an abuser lying to cover up their crime. The things you deal with on a daily basis must be horrible. But most people don’t harm children so please be sure you thoroughly investigate the parents’ explanation before you condemn the family to the horrible consequences of a misdiagnosis of abuse.

I held my four-month-old son in the hospital after his surgery. It was difficult with the tubes to drain the blood from his brain. He was so tiny, so fragile. We had spent three of his first four weeks in the hospital because he was born prematurely with feeding problems. We were doing everything we could to help you figure out what was wrong with him.

We knew the investigation was a formality we would have to deal with but we had nothing to hide so we didn’t think we needed to be concerned. We answered every question as thoroughly as we could so you could help our baby. When the detective told us she might put both of our babies in foster care my world crashed around me again. I love my children more than anything. They were just babies, how could you take them away with only a couple of medical symptoms as “evidence” of abuse? Why didn’t you investigate the abnormal blood tests? Why didn’t you talk to the nurse who told us about other possible causes for his symptoms? Why did you only investigate trauma as the cause of his bloody vomit?

Our son walks and talks and lives the life of a normal three-year-old except when we have to deal with his bleeding disorder. He has had over a dozen platelet transfusions, mainly for little bumps on the head that toddlers get so often. Since you would not listen to us when we told you that there must be another explanation, I did the research that found the actual cause of his symptoms. I saved him from a surgery that was too risky for a baby with a bleeding disorder. I saved his dad from losing his job. I saved us from further devastating legal costs. I couldn’t save my mother-in-law from the heart attack she had while helping us through this ordeal. And I couldn’t save myself from post traumatic stress syndrome brought on by the constant threats that my children would be taken from me.

As for you, I don’t want you to be “crushed by overwhelming guilt.” I want you to learn so you don’t put other innocent families through the same ordeal.

With all sincerity,
The mama of two amazing kids

See the article that inspired this post: Dear father who shook his baby