Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
Parents, State Fight Over Child
JACKSON COUNTY- The case concerning a 14-year-old southern Illinois girl began Friday.
The Department of Children and Family Services took custody of the teen after it said her parents were negligent with her health care, but the parents argue the hospital treating their daughter was killing her.
Extensive medical documents may be the only way to put an end to the tug of war.
"Hopefully they'll see that their charge of neglect, because that's what it is, can be dismissed and my baby can come back home," said Patricia Jones, mother of 14-year-old Brittany Jones.
Jones quickly discovered her hope for a best case scenario in Jackson County court on Friday wouldn't be that simple.
"We learned that there were a multitude of documents, medical documents, which are necessary for a fair disposition in this case," said Jackson County State's Attorney Mike Wepsiec.
Boxes of documents, according to DCFS, that neither the state nor Jones has ever seen. They are still in the hands of Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis.
Brittany has spent the better half of her teen years constantly hospitalized, getting treatment after a kidney transplant. Her mother said those records hold the key to her and her husbands innocence, and will show the hospital made numerous medical errors with Brittany's health.
"I believe that when the judge looks at those records, they will not only prove that I'm not negligent, but the hospital was," said Patricia Jones.
Cardinal Glenn doctors wanted to admit Brittany to the hospital for a week earlier this month, but Brittany didn't go. The hospital called DCFS, and said the parents were being negligent. DCFS then put Brittany back in the hospital.
Jones' husband took Brittany from Cardinal Glennon in order to bring her to a Milwaukee hospital for treatment, but since Brittany was under state custody at that time, her father was arrested.
The Jones' will have to wait quite a while before the medical documents requested can prove anything.
"Because of the number of documents that were described today, the judicatory hearing may be a little bit longer than most," said Wepsiec.
Jackson County State's Attorney Mike Wepsiec will not go into specifics about what the state's looking for in those documents, but for Patricia Jones, she can't imagine the case will end with her daughter in the state's hands.
"We have rights as parents and she has a right as my child to receive the best medical care that we can provide her. And how dare someone step in and say no, you shouldn't have did that," she said.
Cardinal Glennon said there's more to this story but would not comment on Brittany's case specifically, citing privacy laws.
It sent out a statement that said, "Every child at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center is treated with the highest level of care and compassion."
A judge will decide if the teen will stay in state custody or go back to her parents.
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