Monday, June 1, 2015

Isaiah Rider revisited

The initial visit was on Medical Child Abuse 4/15/15 in the initial entry and in the 4/15/15 11:23 am and 4/19/15 10:25 pm comments.
There is nothing more terrifying for a parent than the thought of someone taking their child. When a child, whether infant, preschooler, or teenager, is kidnapped, the parents are in an acute state of terror, not knowing whether or not they will ever see their child again, not knowing whether their child will live or die, and not knowing what horrors their precious baby will face while in captivity, alone, without mom or dad to help them through...
If Child Protective Services knocks on the door of a loving parent, or comes into the hospital room when their child is sick or injured, there is little on this earth that is more terrifying. It is because they have the power to literally take away a child without any real proof, without any real evidence. It is happening all over the country.

It isn’t supposed to be that way. It hasn’t always been that way. They are supposed to only take children away who are truly in imminent danger. But there are more children taken unjustly from good homes than there are from abusive homes. The reality is that there are “medical kidnappings” and “legal kidnappings” of loved children from innocent parents on a regular basis.

Most of America has no idea. I didn’t. When I heard about the Justina Pelletier case last year, I thought it was an isolated case. Surely parents getting a second medical opinion and having their child taken away by the government HAD to be extremely rare. This is America! This couldn’t be happening. It’s unconstitutional. It’s corrupt, and it’s wrong. Children belong with their parents, unless they are truly being abused.

But I was wrong.




  1. The Chicago hospital accused Rider of interfering in the boy's medical care, moving him from hospital to hospital across five states, disagreeing with doctors' advice and demanding a powerful sedative to relieve pain that reportedly diminished when she wasn't present, according to records obtained by the Tribune.

    The staff alleged that Rider, of Kansas City, Mo., exhibited hallmark characteristics of Munchausen by proxy syndrome, also called "medical child abuse" — a rare condition in which a caregiver subjects a minor to unnecessary medical procedures.

    The boy was recently placed in a Chicago-area foster home in a case that raises difficult questions about what happens when medical treatment conflicts with the wishes of parents to do what they think best for their children. Rider, who was barred from seeing her child for 24 days, is now locked in an emotional custody battle in Cook County court's Child Protection Division, trying to prove she is a fit parent...

    The former hospice nurse — who relatives, friends and her pastor say is a loving, devoted mother — insists that her every effort has been to ease her son's suffering so he can have a normal life. The Tribune is not naming the boy because he is a minor.

    Although Rider, 34, has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing, the state Department of Children and Family Services determined that credible evidence existed that the boy faced "substantial risk of physical injury" in her care, according to records...

    The teen has been out of school since January for treatment related to ongoing health issues and arrived at Lurie in late March. It was the most recent stop during a nearly four-month odyssey as he and his mother traveled from one hospital to another.

    Doctors either disagreed or were unable to diagnose the cause, records show. Some, including those at Lurie, suggested that the severity of the boy's pain was anxiety-driven and fueled by his mother...

    The boy initially thanked authorities for getting him away from his mother, saying he loved her but that she was too controlling and caused him stress when she fought with doctors, records show. He recently told the Tribune he was heavily medicated at the time and does not recall making those statements.

    He said he would like to ask the judge to allow him to go back home with his mother. "I mean, she's my mom," he said in a phone interview. "She's an amazing person. She's been there for me from the beginning."

    Michelle Rider said her son still is medicated and that she remains concerned about his physical well-being.

    "I'm not this monster they're making me out to be," she said. "You can't blame someone for getting upset after watching their child in pain for days and no one being able to help him. Wouldn't any parent do the same?"


  2. “They were saying that she’s the cause of my pain. How crazy does that sound?” 17-year-old Isaiah Rider was taken into custody by the state of Illinois a year ago over concerns his mother Michelle was seeking unnecessary medical treatment. “I was really scared. I didn’t know what to really do or what to think about the situation,” explains Isaiah, “I was shocked.”

  3. In December a judge ruled Isaiah should remain in state custody. He’s currently living with his maternal grandparents. His mother is allowed supervised visitation.

    Rider tells KMOX even though she was accused of making her son’s condition worse, he has continued to suffer serious health problems while his care is directed by Illinois child welfare officials. “He’s had four medical crises since September,” she points out.

    Another hearing regarding Isaiah is scheduled this week. KMOX News has a call in to the Cook County, Illinois States Attorney for more information. Michelle Rider has turned to social media, hoping public pressure will force officials to return her son. “I didn’t know that people could take your children like this, because you disagreed or because you wanted a second opinion. Because I advocated for my son, because I wanted the best care for him.”

  4. An expert in medical child abuse believes he should be returned. Dr. Marc Feldman has testified in scores of cases — most often, though, on the side of child welfare officials. “I still think it’s the judicious thing to do in many cases, to remove the child if only to see whether the child improves when the parents are no longer involved.”

    That’s why he tells KMOX the case of Isaiah Rider is troubling, “where Isaiah currently is doing really quite poorly medically even though Michelle, his mom, has had only closely supervised access to him.” The 17-year-old was taken into state custody nearly a year ago following surgery in Chicago. As you heard in our previous report, Michelle says she asked that he be transferred to another hospital when he failed to improve. Child welfare officials cited visits to multiple hospitals and Michelle’s demands for strong painkillers for Isaiah as some of the grounds for accusing her of medical child abuse. It’s also called Munchausen by Proxy — when a parent makes up their child’s symptoms as a way to get attention for themselves.

    Feldman has testified on Michelle Rider’s behalf and says while she may have been difficult for medical staff to deal with at times — even issuing vague threats — he doesn’t see evidence she was abusing her son through the medical system.

  5. KMOX News has reported this week about a teen taken from his mother over disputes about his medical care.

    Is it a case of medical child abuse on her part, or a case of “medical kidnapping” by doctors and state officials?

    A nationally known author and attorney tells KMOX News she’s worked with parents who know that medical kidnapping is very real.

    Beth Maloney has written Childhood Interrupted and Saving Sammy – both about her battle to get a proper diagnosis for her son, who suffered neuropsychiatric disorders as a result of a simple strep infection.

    She now advocates for other families.

    “These are parents who are taking their children to the emergency room of hospitals because their children are desperately ill and they are trying to find help,” she says.

    Instead, Maloney says she’s seen parents who end up on the receiving end of allegations – “medical neglect and doctor shopping, and the next thing you know, the hospital has notified the state and state jumps in and takes custody of the children.”...

    "You go into the emergency room, you really bare your soul, what you have been through with this child, trying to help, the doctors you’ve seen, where you’ve taken them. All that information is used against you,” she says.

    She recommends parents of children with rare or disputed disorders only go to facilities where their child’s physician is allowed to practice.

  6. A pair of Washington parents who have spent two years documenting the myriad medical ailments of their son Bubby Everson, 9, on Facebook, are now fighting their biggest battle of all: against Child Protective Services, for custody of their boy, who was removed from their home on May 22. In the case, Brandi and Thomas Everson stand accused of “caregiver fabricated illness” — in other words, of making up their son’s many conditions, which they say range from autism to a terminal form of cytomegalovirus (CMV).

    “Two police officers knocked on the door,” Brandi told King 5 News of the day Bubby was taken from their home in Graham, right before the long holiday weekend. “Then three social workers came in. They handed me a piece of paper and said we have an order to take your child. I fell to my knees.” The order for removal noted there was a “risk of imminent harm” to Bubby, who is residing at a Tacoma hospital while the investigation proceeds. His parents were allowed a two-hour supervised visit with him on Tuesday and are planning a rally this week.

  7. When Isaiah was finally released from the hospital, he was placed in a foster care home in Dolton, IL ignoring all mandates of the Indian Child Welfare Act as Isaiah is a card carrying member of the Choctaw Nation Tribe. Pleas to the tribe were ignored.

    While residing in Dolton, which has a higher crime rate than the US national average, Isaiah was met face to face with drugs, gangs and prostitution – all things that he had never encountered growing up in a KC suburb his entire life and raised by a Christian mother.

    He was held at gunpoint and also threatened by a family member of the foster parent. The DCFS caseworker was contacted, as were the police and an emergency motion was filed that would finally get Isaiah back to his home state of MO under the guardianship of his grandparents.

    At this time, Isaiah confided that he was also drugged and raped in the neighborhood while in Dolton...

    In Nov 2014 Isaiah entered into another severe pain crisis that could not be managed at home and he was taken to the closest ER. The state of IL was consulted and they requested transfer to Comer’s Hospital in Chicago. Isaiah, 17 years old at the time, a resident of MO and considered an adult in his home state, was FORCED AGAINST HIS WISHES ACROSS STATE LINES BACK TO CHICAGO...

    He will be 18 years old in August, a legal adult in the United States and he has not been allowed to have any say in his medical care nor where he wishes to reside.
    Because of his condition, much of Isaiah’s childhood has been robbed. And now his last teen years have been robbed. His innocence has been robbed. He is not a criminal, though he has been treated like one. Isaiah has a life ahead of him and slowly his hope for it is being stripped away every passing day this nightmare continues.


  8. While getting him back in his hometown and out of what Michelle called a “ghetto” in Illinois was good news, she told TheBlaze she and her parents still don’t have control over making medical or other decisions, for Isaiah. For example, she said Isaiah’s doctor recommended he go to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for a consultation. While the mother said Illinois DCFS agreed to allow him to go there for a consult, she said the they wouldn’t pay for it. Michelle said that as a ward of the state of Illinois, Isaiah is not under her or her parent’s insurance, but state insurance. So any consult with Mayo would come out of their own pockets if the state won’t pay for it.3.

    Isaiah turns 18 on August 27, but Michelle said that doesn’t mean her son will be coming home.

    “An agent of the state contacted my mother and told her that she had spoken with case worker in Illinois and he indicated that Isaiah would remain in state custody,” Michelle said.

    An Illinois DCFS spokesperson told WDAF-TV that “when a child under their care turns 18, DCFS is still responsible for their well-being, and as a public guardian is considered their parent.”

    “Well, they’re lousy parents and they need to be charged with abuse,” Michelle said. “They allowed him to be abused and harmed.”

    “I thought it was crazy really,” Isaiah told WDAF. “How can someone control my life when I turn 18 years old?”

    Michelle had spoken out against the foster home where Isaiah was in Illinois before going to her parents’ in Missouri, but more recently both she and Isaiah have said he was also sexually assaulted while in the Illinois foster parents’ care...

    “More than anything I’d like to see my son to have the freedom that he deserves, that everyone deserves, to be able to get the medical care that he needs. To not be dictated by a state that he doesn’t even live in,” Michelle said.

  9. Isiah has taken his journey online, making videos about his experience, determined not to get lost in the system but have his voice heard.

    “Whatever I need to do, I will do to make a difference in this world because of what happened to me and what is going on with other children as well,” he said.

    Michelle and Isaiah say their hope has faded.

    Michelle Rider was accused of medically abusing her son Isaiah.

    “It’s always like a false hope. We keep thinking, surely someone will come to their senses. Surely someone will step in and help us and it doesn’t seem to be happening,” said Michelle Rider. “Even now. We are finding out that this is going to continue.”

    However, their attorney is confident reasonable minds will prevail if the Illinois Appellate Court looks at the case. He believes the court will find no evidence of abuse and will let Isaiah make life decisions for himself.

    The Riders have filed an appeal in the Cook County Court regarding the custody of Isaiah. The next hearing is August 20, just a week before he turns 18.

    “Soon all this will end and we will look back and think of all the things we did together and we did it as a family,” they said.

  10. The final hearing for the Riders was on Wednesday, March 11, and the verdict was not at all what they had hoped to hear. Michelle writes:

    “Isaiah was just made a ward of the court in the state of IL. A Missouri residing resident is a ward of another state. He can’t even get proper medical care, we have been waiting on Illinois to be able to get him into see a neurologist to follow up on a brain lesion discovered in December … This doesn’t even make any sense at all. How is it any ones best interest for a state and agency 550 miles away to decide and dictate the best interest of a person? Anyone who can help, we need them.”

    Isaiah spoke with Health Impact News, and expressed his great disappointment in the decision. He says he doesn’t “understand how DCFS can get away with taking children away from their parents.” He is upset, not just for himself, but for all the other kids that he sees in the system that are going through the same kinds of things, and even worse.

    He says that Illinois DCFS placed him in a “crappy foster home” where he ended up being exposed to all sorts of things that he never should have seen, things that he certainly was never around under his mother’s care, like drugs and gangs. He was traumatized by being told that he wouldn’t get to see his mom again, and he was sexually assaulted while he was in foster care in Chicago.

    Even though social workers in DCFS had been made aware of the crime committed against Isaiah, they did not report it for some months, and it has still not been investigated properly, reports Michelle. When Isaiah himself tried to report the rape in court (by telephone; he was never permitted to be present in court), his own counsel objected – the same counsel whom Isaiah repeatedly tried to fire, without success...

    Isaiah asks the question, “Why is a bad foster home better than a home with parents who love them?” He stresses that his mother has done nothing wrong.

    “The only thing she’s trying to do is get me better, not hurt me. Mom is a better person than half of those people [at Lurie Children’s Hospital and DCFS].”

    He says that he hopes someday to change the system for all the children of innocent parents who have been caught in the system. Isaiah suspects that money is behind the reason for all the pain that he has suffered at the hands of the state of Illinois. He has seen many innocent children caught in the crossfire, and he wants to make a difference for them...

    The Riders are frustrated and angry about the injustice of the system that they are facing. Isaiah is almost an adult, but could potentially remain a ward of the state of Illinois until he is 21, according to Illinois state law. In his own state, he is considered an adult now, but he is under the control of an entity in another state. He says that he wants to talk, and will speak with anyone who will listen.

    - See more at:

  11. Isaiah Rider is finally free. The Missouri teen was taken captive by Illinois DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) more than 2 years ago when his mother challenged the doctors at Lurie Children’s Hospital when her son was in pain and not being helped by the doctors there.

    Isaiah and his mother Michelle Rider have been living in a nightmare ever since that horrible day on April 15, 2014, the day when DCFS kicked Michelle out of the hospital and seized custody of Isaiah.

    Now, that chapter is over, and they are beginning the difficult task of putting their lives back together.

    Team Isaiah, the group that has been fighting for Isaiah’s freedom from DCFS, recently posted this on their Facebook page:

    Dear Team Isaiah,

    First we would like to apologize for the delay of sharing this important news. We are happy to report that after a very long and painful 766 days Isaiah is finally free from Illinois. The case in Illinois is closed.

    While we are happy, we are also reminded that this never should have happened. Not even for a single day. This is great news. However it is bitter-sweet, we must not forget there has been a lot of suffering for this family, tremendous pain, torture, and lives significantly altered. Without real cause during the last two years for this family. This is all in addition to Isaiah’s real and unfortunate complicated medical problems.

    Many of us have been following this heartbreaking situation very closely and the truth has clearly been brought to light. This has truly been a miscarriage of justice. The Rider’s are still trying to pick up all the pieces. They are left dealing with the aftermath this horrific situation has caused this innocent family. While we all can celebrate this as a victory, we are reminded that true justice has not been served in this situation or for this family, the Riders. We would like to thank everyone for all your support and continued support. We invite everyone to stay posted to Team Isaiah for future updates. We will have future updates coming in the near future.

    Thank you from Team Isaiah Admins, The Riders want to thank you also and please know we appreciate you all very much. Love, Team Isaiah