Contributed to TLB and written by: Health Impact News and Medical Kidnap staff
In November, we shared a story with you regarding a two-month old baby boy by the name of Ryder Ross who was allegedly kidnapped from his parents due to a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. (See: Child with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome taken from Loving Family by Doctors.) Ryder is now fifteen months old and is still in the state’s custody.
Brandon and Cynthia Ross became concerned after noticing their baby’s leg was swollen. Even though Ryder was not crying excessively, had no bruises, red marks, or any outward signs of injury other than the swelling, the couple took him to the doctor for an examination.
After performing some x-rays and finding the infant with multiple fractures throughout his body, the doctors sent the family to the Maine Medical Center (MMC) for further evaluation. Before the couple understood the depths of the evaluation, they were deemed guilty of child abuse by officials at MMC.
Six days after Ryder was admitted to the hospital, the state of Maine chose to remove both Ryder and his two year old sister Rosalynn from their parents’ care.
Inconclusive Test Results
Numerous x-rays and tests continued to be administered. Ryder’s family listened to doctors admit their tests were inconclusive, that there were different probabilities and possibilities, but there were no concrete findings. For example, one test showed Ryder had multiple fractures, yet another test revealed no fractures at all. Blood tests showed alarming vitamin D and calcium levels.
Several weeks passed before a doctor from MMC reportedly admitted abnormal vitamin D and calcium levels in Ryder’s blood could quite possibly be linked to a medical condition that may have caused the injuries. However, after meeting with other members of his team, the doctor allegedly dismissed that idea.
Follow-up testing was performed only after demands from Ross and Cynthia were made.
The state deemed the parents guilty of child abuse regardless of the inconsistencies in their testing results and placed the infant in foster care.
Arrested Without Proof of Guilt
On June 12, 2014 Brandon, a twenty-five year old father, was indicted on twelve counts of child abuse and was arrested by Bath, Maine police. After being transported to the local jail, he received death threats from other inmates. The threats were taken so seriously that the jail provided Brandon with private accommodations for his safety.
Baby’s Grandfather Commits Suicide Due to Mental Anguish Caused By State
On Father’s Day of 2014, just days after Brandon’s arrest, after telling the family he believed the state was out to get Brandon, Ryder’s seventy-four year old grandfather committed suicide, after writing a note falsely claiming responsibility for Ryder’s injuries.
In October of 2014, the true cause of the baby’s fractures was finally discovered. The little guy suffered from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). He, his mother, and his grandmother were diagnosed by Dr. Michael Holick at the Boston University Medical Center. Some of the symptoms of the various forms of EDS include calcium and vitamin D issues and more importantly, fractures.
State’s “Experts” Disagree With Medical Findings From Outside Their Sphere Of Influence
Ryder recently fell when running and sustained yet another fracture, while in the state’s custody. Dr. Lawrence R. Ricci, M.D., of the Spurwink Child Abuse Program stated this on a Medical Evaluation form dated 05/12/2015
“This fracture in no way alters my opinion that the initial constellation of injuries was abusive. This is also taking into account the prior expert witness reports offered by the parents, both about rickets and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, neither of which do I find in any way convincing… I would note that there is no literature that I am aware of where Ehler’s-Danlos syndrome has been described as causing any fractures in infancy, much less fractures that are quite characteristic of child abuse.”
When we shared this story in November of 2014, Dr. Jeff Milunsky with the Center for Human Genetics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who sees patients with Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome from around the world, was quoted as saying, “A patient can present from newborn with fractures, dislocations, hip dislocations…”
A skeletal survey was performed on May 11, 2015 and the Ross family was able to view the survey on May 12th in the child abuse pediatrician’s office. Cynthia said,
“Along with the buckle wrist fracture, Dr. Ricci pointed out a left-clavicle fracture that was completely healed. I pointed out that this fracture did not exist previously, and he told me that he was quite sure that it had. My husband and I also noticed very clear signs of metabolic bone disease in Ryder’s x-rays.”
Currently, Cynthia is allowed to have supervised therapeutic visits with her children twice per week. She is also allowed to pick the children up from daycare on Friday evenings and keep them under monitored supervision at her grandmother’s house until Monday mornings arrive. Brandon is allowed to join them under direct supervision of either Cynthia’s mother or grandmother from 8 am until 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
20/20 picked up Ryder’s story. On the same day ABC posted their press release, the Ross family received a phone call from their attorney stating that the DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) had requested a permanency hearing. The state wanted to terminate Brandon and Cynthia’s rights, but there was no evidence. Now, DHHS is apparently trying a different approach.
On August 6th, a settlement conference has been scheduled, where the state is hopeful that an agreement can be reached on the permanent placement of Ryder and Rosalynn. The state had given the Ross family a deadline of July 2nd to submit any evidence they have, however medical records from the skeletal surveys taken on May 11th have still not been released to the parents or to their experts. The Ross family’s attorneys plan to ask for an extension, but there are no guarantees that the extension will be granted. If an agreement is not reached on August 6th, a permanency hearing will be held between the dates of September 23rd and September 25th.
Elected Public Officials Refuse To Help
Cynthia has contacted several public officials, just to be told that they “do not get involved in court matters.” Paul LePage, however, sent her a handwritten note saying he would personally review the Ross family’s case file. She knows he did review the files, but she has not heard anything back from him or anyone else on the matter for quite some time. Cynthia said, “I ended up calling the governor’s office and Pat Condon, the constituent coordinator for Governor LePage, she told me that the governor cannot help me, he could not talk to me now or ever concerning this or any other matter.”
Brandon and Cynthia are hopeful that they can prove no abuse ever occurred and that they will have the opportunity to regain custody of both of their children. In a previous statement, Cynthia said:
“We’re just normal people who were concerned about our children.”
Governor LePage can be reached here (207-287-3531 Toll-free: 1-855-721-5203 )
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