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"35 percent of the children in that counties foster care system could have remained safely in their own homes had the right kinds of help been provided." ~Broward County Florida admin.

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Hospital in Complete Denial Over Epileptic Patient

Autistic woman held by bureaucratic stranglehold treated under veil of secrecy
By: Harry V. Martin

Apparently bent out of shape, the intern called Adult Protective Services and reported that the parents were abusing Nancy by over-dosing her, in contrast to both Nancy's neurologist and the Stanford Hospital neurologist. Adult Protective Services did an extensive investigation. But they failed to note that the two neurologists sided with the parents that they had provided an adequate dosage to her.

Adult Protective Services provided their reports - minus any confirmation from either neurologist that the parents were following proper medication procedures. From that point on, Nancy's life and that of her parents turned into an abyss of hell.

The parents fought the system and each time they had their visiting rights reduced until it finally came down to one small visit a month. Nancy could never understand why she was being "abandoned" by her parents. Many times on their visits the parents would find Nancy in a comatose state. She was being given psychiatric drugs which countered her anti-seizure medication.

Donna Crowder, a nurse who has reporting responsibilities, went to visit Nancy in the care home that the State of California placed Nancy in. The nurse was not allowed entry into the home and when she spotted Nancy, Nancy was rushed back into her room. The nurse asked to speak with the administrator. The 17-year-old girl placed in charge of the facility said she did not know who the administrator was or how to make contact. Then she admitted that her parents were the administrators and they were in the Philippines. "I was very unhappy as a nurse, who works with medical and mental clients at what I heard and observed at this group home as it really appeared that this home was covering up," Crowder said. "I came home and was so disturbed by what I considered abuse, that I called the State ombudsman."

At the care facility Nancy has suffered lower esophageal injuries, hernias, broken collarbone, dislocated shoulder and neurological injuries. It is also suspect that Nancy has developed cancer of the esophagus from the psychiatric drugs she was being administered.

The nurse, who tried to visit Nancy and was refused, felt that Nancy was being abused. But the real abuse surfaced just last week when Nancy was rushed to a Mt. View hospital. Nancy's family was not provided any information, but, in fact, they were escorted out by security guards on instructions from Nancy's State-appointed conservator. Nancy looked half dead with an IV and main lines in her neck and scrapes and lumps all over her face. She was vomiting blood and chunks of her esophagus due to the ruptured esophageal injuries caused by the drugs the care home had been administrating. The Hospital reported the abuse of Nancy by the care home to Adult Protective Services, not knowing that Adult Protective Services and the regional center have never investigated the care home.

The California Legislature passed AB 1130, which was set to expire in January 2006.

The bill gives qualified immunity to regional center employees, on the grounds that there have been too many lawsuits against these employees, indiscriminately naming them as defendants.

Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 1130 in law on June 30, 2006.

The parents were finally allowed 10 minutes to visit their daughter. But apparently the nurse that allowed such a visit got into a lot of trouble. The next day, when the father of Nancy called the hospital to inquire of Nancy's condition he was told that Nancy wasn't there. In fact, the hospital told others, including Crowder, that Nancy has never been in the hospital. The nurse on the fourth floor of the hospital where Nancy was located the night before said that the patient had asked for privacy and that no information be released. Nancy is autistic and doesn't speak. The condition and whereabouts of Nancy are not known by the parents at this time, even though they do have visitation rights to see their daughter.

Even more interesting after investigating the case of Nancy, documents show that the Regional Center had been receiving Nancy's SSI (Social Security) claims 10 months before Nancy was placed in a psychiatric ward at Stanford University Hospital and two years before they receive conservatorship over Nancy.

The family has spent their life savings trying to free Nancy from this "prison-type" system. The family has gone to court and been rebuffed in Federal Court that does not want the jurisdiction in the case. Attorneys have helped the family from time to time, but one attorney flatly warned the family, by stating "The biggest problem with this case is going to be bribery, that any attorney that tires to represent you is going to get a $25,000-$30,000 offer from the State, to avoid further lawsuits like this from the thousands of other people in State custody that can claim personal injuries by State agents acting under color of law." The State has spent over $1 million fighting the family in this case. Why?

The State readily admits that they do not even inspect care homes but once every five years, if that.

(To be continued.)

This article originally ran in the Napa Sentinel on April 29, 2005. Reposted here with permission from the Golin family.

Help Free Nancy

Send cards, letters or direct donations to:
Jeffrey and Elsie Golin
13736 De Leon Ave.
Santa Nella, CA 95322

Posted: June 17, 2005