Contributed to TLB by: Health Impact News and Medical Kidnap
The week following Tammi Stefano’s interview with Jewels Stein on the The National Safe Child show (see: UCLA Medical Doctors and LA County Medically Kidnap Paramedic and Film Producer’s Daughter), she had Jewel’s daughter Dakotah on the show to get her perspective on being medically kidnapped and alienated from her mother. This was the first time The National Safe Child show interviewed and published the perspective of a victim who is a minor, and Dakota’s mother Jewel gave her consent to allow Dakotah to appear on the show.
Dakotah’s inside perspective gives the public an incredible view of a corrupt system of doctors and social workers that destroys families, and she has a very powerful message she wants heard. Her story also gives hope to the hundreds of thousands other foster children currently trapped in such a corrupt system.
The National Safe Child Show with host Tammi Stefano interviews the daughter of Jewels Stein, Dakotah Hatch
by Susan Parker
Health Impact News
I want to introduce first, Dakotah Hatch. Dakotah has a story, as you know whoever joined us last week, Dakotah’s mom, Jewels, was on the show to give her version of the victimization that she experienced, regarding, for lack of a better term, medical kidnapping. And then at that point in order to solidify, UCLA hospital, making a decision that they knew better, they then contacted and collaborated with Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. And from there, a medically diagnosed condition, that caused this young lady to have surgery, where she finally felt relief after a multitude of doctors came in and they couldn’t give a diagnosis.
Today, luckily, we have a happy ending, we have so many dark and sad stories, but yours has been resolved. I want to jump right in to Dakotah’s story and we did touch base with mom last week. Now we are going to give the perspective of the minor child, and we have permission from her custodial parent to have her on. There is nothing from allowing her to be a voice for other young ladies and young gentlemen, who have been thrown in this system and who do feel victimized. Let’s talk about who you are and let’s go back, let’s take a time machine back a couple of years ago.
When I was about fourteen years old, I got sick. At first I thought, ok it is just the flu. Days would go by where I would hold down food, but at night I would end up throwing up everything I ate that day. I started getting really, really bad abdominal pain whenever I would put anything into my mouth. My mom said, ok she needs to see a doctor.
But it was the weekend and the clinic was closed. So she took me in Children’s Hospital, and that’s when they ran tests. They said we don’t know what it is. Then they let me eat food and they witnessed when I ate food I would get this awful stomach pain and I would projectile vomit. They realized we need to keep this kid overnight. They kept me for a few weeks at Children’s Hospital.
Did they give you a diagnosis at that time? Did they know what was going on?
They didn’t know. They said it was cyclic vomiting, that is what they diagnosed me with… I thought maybe I was just a little run down. Maybe it was food poisoning or the flu or something because it happened so abruptly. Before all of this I was a happy child. I had my acting and singing. I still managed to have a group of friends and a social life. Everything in my life before I got ill was pretty solid.
You get sick and the brakes screeched! Before this you weren’t sick. Did you have any eating disorders?
No, I was happy with myself. I never struggled with anything like major depression. I managed what was going on, I was still very happy…They could take my mom away from me, but they could never take that relationship away.
It was something, obviously, that’s not faking it. The doctor comes in and he watched me projectile vomit and he realized that this kid had issues.
UCLA Medical Doctors Accused Dakotah of an Eating Disorder because She Had Done Some Professional Acting
There were some doctors that kind of questioned you a little bit, isn’t that right?
Most doctors didn’t know what was going on. So, they were pulling at straws. I told them my story, how I was doing acting before and everything in my life was going well. And they pulled at straws, oh you were acting, you have an eating disorder probably. Oh Hollywood, maybe your uncomfortable at your weight. And I was like no, absolutely not!
Did you ever get excessively thin during all the vomiting?
I did at a point when I was taken back, I lost 20 or 30 pounds, because I wasn’t able to eat anything. That’s when they had to put MJ tubes in me, because they were realizing she isn’t getting any better, she can’t hold down water, she is getting dehydrated.
But the strange thing is, you didn’t go in like that. They literally watched you, suffering, in pain. They watched you vomiting your weight out, and then, they blamed you for it!
Yeah, they made it sound like, oh she didn’t want to eat, she was withholding the food, because of Hollywood.
You weren’t self-inducing, but the doctors still labeled you with bulimia, rumination, anorexia. You had a total of three stays in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The longest stay was how long?
UCLA Doctors Put 15 Year Old Dakotah on Morphine and an Eating Tube
“The longest stay was the second stay, and I think I spent three or four months there,” Dakotah answered, “That is when they placed the MJ tubes. They realized I had issues with digestion, I wasn’t digesting my food properly. They still did not know exactly what that meant though. They placed the MJ tubes, it is basically a tube that connects to your intestines and feeds you.”
After that, you ended up going to a pediatrician. Because three or four months, hospital visit after hospital visit, doctor visit after doctor visit and nothing, there is no diagnosis and your still vomiting and the pain is excruciating, you need relief.
They put me on this MJ tube and they gave me Ativan twice a day, which is like kid morphine. It was just to knock me out, because when I was asleep I wasn’t throwing up. They kind of sent me home with this MJ tube, and I was still throwing up stomach acid even though I wasn’t eating anything by mouth. I was still in a lot of pain and I was still puking all the time. That’s when I went to a different pediatrician who recommended me going to UCLA hospital.
You go to UCLA and the pediatrician that recommended you then began treating you or… but then, I’ve done some research and rumors have it that the hospital was angered that she made this recommendation. And she wouldn’t treat you anymore?
No, she backed off. She was a very good doctor, but suddenly they (UCLA) kind of got the case and were hands up in the air, like why did you send her here again.
You kept vomiting, it didn’t stop. You’re at UCLA now, you have this tube inside of you and your vomiting is so violent it is disrupting the tube!
Yes, I was vomiting so forcefully without eating anything, just vomiting stomach acid. I was vomiting so bad that I ended up throwing up my MJ tubes. They would come up in my neck and they would have to pull it out because it would start choking me. The next time I threw up so forcefully, the whole tube came out.
This was a real issue, just to show, this was real, this was happening to you. You had people that were looking at you, pointing at you. At one point you said, I felt like a criminal!
They did. It was difficult, because you want people to help you. I don’t like hospitals. I didn’t want to be in the hospital as much as they didn’t want me there. It gets hard because you look to doctors for answers and sometimes they want to blame you and say you have an eating disorder, it is all in your head.
I was in UCLA Hospital for 6 months.
Clearly they knew something was wrong, clearly. They should have had enough information and enough time. Months, every day, where there was no separation, where you could have been sticking your finger down your throat. They knew it wasn’t self-induced. Yet, they still continue to blame you for this. You finally had a surgery.
I finally had a surgery from a good surgeon at UCLA. He basically cut my stomach open. Because at this time I wasn’t able to eat anything and I was just deteriorating. My IV, my veins were blowing, they couldn’t feed me intravenously. I found out about this surgery and I asked a surgeon about it and he said he would do it. So he cut my stomach open and place a tube that connected to my intestines and another tube that connected to my stomach and basically saved my life.
Your mom was by your side all the time. After the surgery, you are recovering. You are hugging each other.
I was so grateful to have had the surgery. I was so excited to go back home. Six months in a hospital you just miss your bed. I missed my cat at home, I missed home. I was healthy again.
My Mom Says I’ll Be Right Back but I Didn’t End up Seeing Her until Court
Mom was asked to, someone wanted to speak with your mom…
“The doctors started acting a little weird. There were some doctors that still wanted to send me to rehab recovery center for rumination.
We said, absolutely not, I’m doing better, there is no need for that.
That morning I’m supposed to go home. I’m recovering as planned, everything is going well.
There was a girl who came in and told my mom, hey you need to go to a meeting. My mom says, ok, I’ll be right back, I love you. I didn’t end up seeing my mom until court.”
Dakotah’s voice broke with emotion as she said, “We both just woke up, it was early in the morning and she was there by my side.”
You were so happy, mom was so happy. She said, “I’ll be right back, we’re going to be packing up and we are finally going home, I love you” and (then she) never came back.
What ended up happening were a few nurse practitioner’s girls started coming in and cleaning out my mom’s side of the room. I thought, ok, they are just helping us pack up. Then a few doctors came in my room, then a few police officers, a security guard. I was like, what is going on?
What were you told and who?
The social worker, Sara, I don’t remember her last name. Sara Elizabeth and her last name starts with a K. The social worker who talked to my mom and my dad.
Your dad and mom were together, at nine years old there was a split and it was very emotional for you. You saw some things your dad did that really hurt you.
Dad was movie producer, he was gone all the time. When I was nine, my parents divorced and he moved out. I would see him probably once every other year. Through therapy sessions, when I was fourteen years old, I realized I didn’t want that relationship with my father because he wasn’t going to be the person that I needed him to be.
How often did you guys visit in a year?
Maybe one hour out of a year.
When you were in the hospital, mom called your dad because everyone was really nervous that this might not have a good outcome, so dad then…
Showed up the night before my surgery and I didn’t want him there.
You’re asking for mom, she doesn’t come back. There are all kinds of people in your room, law enforcement, and the social worker…
LA DCFS Social Worker Says Your Mother no Longer Has Custody of You, It is Your Dad or Foster Care
Sara basically says to me, along the lines of, your mother no longer has custody of you, your dad has 100 percent custody of you, now.
I start crying hysterically. No, my dad has a history of being abusive, I don’t want to go with him and they basically look at me and say do you want to be in the foster care system? And I said no, absolutely not. They say, ok, we’ll pretend we didn’t hear that.
We’ll pretend that we didn’t hear you, minor child, say that to us because we know what is better for you.
They started screaming at me and they ripped the hospital phone out of the wall and took it with them. They took my computer. They were screaming at me to give them my phone. I was barely able to make a call into my brother to leave him a voice mail what was happening and then they ripped my phone away.
After that day, they had a nurse practitioner sit with me 24/7, all day long. Watch me eat, watch me go to the bathroom. I had to go to the bathroom with the door open as if I was a prisoner, it was like they were treating me like a criminal, like I did something wrong. Obviously, I was very angry and I told the social worker a few not so nice words.
Creating a Generation of Angry Youth Due to Child Social Services
I want to touch on what the social worker told you your mom said. This is important because we hear so many horror stories. We see this generation of younger people that are very angry.
And we hear about the crimes that happen and we often wonder what happened in this generational change that caused such violence, caused such anger.
When I look at child protective services and the amount of children who are removed from their household, in many of the cases, the children were really happy with their parents and their anger came when they were removed, because they were removed.
And because of the abuse that they experience, not with their parents, but in the system, in the homes they were placed in, the beatings, the violence, dark and ugly things.
These children don’t speak with their parents sometimes ever again, not for months and by then the damage is done.
When the social worker approached you, you were told that your mom didn’t want to care of you anymore.
She basically said to me, well your mother is relieved. She is glad you are going to go be with your father now. She is relieved she doesn’t have to take care of you. I looked at her and said, I don’t believe you. But, you know, there is that part of you that wonders, is that true or is that not true and I think for a lot of kids, they just believe it because they are put in that situation that is so unbelievable they don’t know what to believe.
You don’t see your mom. Even if you don’t believe it at the beginning. An hour goes by, a half a day, a day and your mom still hasn’t come and the question does arise. Were they being honest?
I felt like they were trying to pick at me to explode and say, oh she is a bad mom. I kept saying the truth, you are taking a kid away from a good home and you are wasting your time on this. I am happy, I am safe. They basically said, you will see your mom in court.
They have a 24 hour nurse and taxpayers beware, that you are paying for that nurse that wasn’t necessary. Your mom did not abuse you and you had a great relationship. You were truly sick. You fought for your life.
If there was any violence that was shown it was by them. You came to realize and I want to quote, “I came to realize that I really wasn’t safe anymore and that nobody was there to help me,” because they took your life source.
Social Workers Reign of Terror
They don’t realize how much they take away from these kids. Not just are they taking their mother away, they take away their family, they take away their home, they take away their community of friends, they take away everything they have known to be safe. That feeling of not feeling safe, it is like being thrown into the ocean without a life raft and being told to swim to land.
You remember thinking for a moment that what they are telling you is true and you feel like I don’t have anyone. I want to hear my mother tell me this then I’ll believe it. There are times when you finally did believe because you didn’t see mom. They don’t have anything else to believe, they think of course she will come back that is my mom and when time goes by they do start to believe and that is when the anger comes in.
I remember getting really angry with the social worker. Your whole life is being turned upside down and I was crying hysterically and I was angry and I was upset.
You told the social worker to screw off and you got scared when you saw this happening and you had no power to have a voice, you were silenced.
They took away my voice. It was the realization I had that being in the hospital, I remember apologizing to the social worker because I knew she would write reports. I had to swallow my pride, I said I am sorry for saying “screw off.” I was very upset. It is a miscommunication you have with my mother. You have no reason, no evidence. She ended up writing in her report that I was aggressive and dangerous and angry.
You had a tube handing out of your stomach and you were in the hospital for six months. You cried so you were mentally unstable because normal people don’t cry when they lose their lives. You said you came to realize that this social worker held the power of your life.
I knew she had the power to keep me away from my mother. She had the power to have the case going. If she had the power to make my mother lose custody then she had the power of my future and it was beyond scary. I was petrified.
You remember hearing her interviewing your dad in the hospital. Before all of this, you felt like when she interviews me I am going to be able to explain to her there has been a grave mistake, but she never interviewed you?
She never interviewed me once. I wasn’t on any drugs anymore, the medication they gave me, and I was able to talk and she never once talked to me.
She told you she wasn’t going to be working on the case. That all she did was take children away from their parents. Imagine, somebody coming in having their life stripped and then having a social worker saying, my only duty here is to make sure that children are taken away from their parents…Another social worker came on your case and you disclosed even more to her. You disclosed some abuse you had experienced as a younger child in the presence of your dad’s family and from your dad. You had never disclosed that before, because you were safe, you were with your mom.”
One Good Social Worker Finally Takes Action
Social workers were already not wanting me to be in his custody because they realized, he is lying to us. I felt safe at that time to disclose it to a social worker.
So you did have a good social worker on your case. There are so many corrupt social workers that I want them jailed.
But, I don’t want to negate the fact that there are some really good social workers. We acknowledge you and all of your hard work. She helped you and she got you out of your dad’s house. She saw clearly and she did an immediate order to remove you from your dad’s house. Even though the other ones had done everything to make sure you were in your dad’s house, even though they knew the danger that they were putting you in.
I remember she asked me, why didn’t you tell anybody before about your dad being abusive? And I said, I did, but nobody listened.
As a matter of fact, you were threatened, if you want me to go forward I will do you a favor young child and pretend I never heard that. Otherwise, we will put you in foster care. This plagued your life from 15 years old until April 16, 2015. They finally released you back to your mom. A social worker wrote that…
Good Social Workers Are Removed from Cases
A good social worker got removed from my case.
This is a pattern situation when social workers, good, honest social workers who are doing their job, do the right thing, whatever that might be…She did her job, she investigated properly and she saw the urgency to remove you immediately. The Department of Children and Family Services stepped in and removed her immediately, and that was sad for you.
Being through this journey, before that I had a social worker that I would talk to and she said, I am going to tell your dad everything you just told me.
Dakotah Testifies in Court – Judge Apparently Sees the Truth
Imagine, I am going to tell your dad everything you just told me! What the bad social workers are doing, is they are creating such a fear within these children, that they lose their trust, they lose their voice and the only thing they are creating an angry, pissed off child that is enraged and hurt and traumatized. You got out, so many kids, Dakotah, haven’t gotten out, they are still stuck there. You were finally allowed to testify in court, tell me about that.
When I was finally able to testify, all my lawyers and the social workers kept saying, don’t testify. No, I’m going to testify. I’m going to testify, I’m going to say the truth. I’m going to say what I know, my story, in my eyes. Because it was my story. Once I testified, I think the judge, I lifted my shirt and showed them my tube. I think that was a point when they realized this isn’t Munchausen, this isn’t rumination.
How do you know that word Munchausen?
Because that is what they said your mother is being accused of Munchausen when I went the first court day. They said your mother is being accused of Munchausen by Proxy. I was like, what is that? Basically they caused you to be sicker. I think once I testified, the judge saw this was a very unjust case.
Doctors Abusing Power
Even though, so many mom’s especially have been diagnosed when they go into the system with Munchausen. We never hear the kids talk about what the social workers are telling them that their parents have and we know with everything that is out there, Munchausen is such a rare disorder. They felt like your mom was a mastermind who had the ability to talk doctors and surgeons into performing a medical procedure against any medical diagnosis, they are pretty crazy. Do you remember the doctors?
I remember them very vividly. These doctors were reaching for straws, they didn’t know what was wrong, and they were just accusing me that it was rumination or it is all in her head. Even psychiatrists came in and said no this kid does not have a mental issue, this is not rumination. They basically told us, you signed your rights away.
You said, Tammi, I felt like I was an experiment for them and they were experimenting with my body.
There are some doctors out there that don’t understand that their patients are human beings and they have feelings. They viewed me as their little science experiment.
Let’s name the doctors, do you remember their names?
Dr. Lee, Dr. Ross and Dr. Deukmedjian.
Those three doctors changed the path that your life was taking. Do you think they just innocently made a mistake?
I don’t think that they will ever view themselves as being in the wrong. I feel like they didn’t want to admit that they knew what was wrong with me so they just pointed the finger.
Dakotah’s Message to Other Foster Kids Abused by the System
The good pediatrician was taken off of being able to take care of you, the good social worker was taken off of your case. You had surgery, you lost your mom, your social life. Your acting career put on hold. You stop believing in a system, you stop believing in adults.
If you could look right into the camera for the kids right now that are not with their parents, what would you tell them to reassure them? Because you were told, your mom doesn’t care anymore, your mom is tired of taking care of you.
What I would say is, you can’t trust what they say, you have to trust and believe in your parents. You grew up with these people, you know what they would say, you know what they would do, and you know the difference between right and wrong. The point is, never give up hope, to always believe that even though your voice was taken away now, won’t forever be taken away. To understand that, even though you are so filled with anger right now, you can’t let them break you. You can’t let the system destroy you, because that is what they want, they want to destroy you…I think it is to have hope. Karma will get whoever was in the wrong, and eventually, justice will be brought to your case.
You said nobody will ever understand the trauma.
These social workers don’t understand the long term affects. They view these kids as just their job. They don’t understand that these kids, when you take them away from everything they have known to be safe.
You take their family, their friends and their home it and their stability away, and it destroys them. It has these long term affects where they feel as if they can never feel safe again.
I know that I don’t feel like I could ever feel safe again. I still get panic attacks when people knock at my door because I think it is DCFS. I don’t know if that will go away by the time I’m an adult.
You grow up and you think, I don’t want to have kids because I don’t want them to be taken away. I don’t think people understand what happens to these kids even after they have their happy ending. Even after whatever is gone, I don’t think people understand the affects that they deal with to this day.
Watch the entire video interview:
See also Part 1, where Tammi interviews Jewels, Dakotah’s mother:
More stories about LA County DCFS, the largest Child Social Service organization in the world: