Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ryan Baldwin - Child in Crisis - UPDATED

Pat Fero writes:
My apologies for the mass e one was spared a copy of this
letter. If you are unable to read for whatever reason, illness,
schedule, and so on, please toss. You may have received double copies
or be a person who is not involved with ME and CFS at all. My e mail
program is out of sorry.

I have a word doc of this e mail. If you would like that, please
let me know.

Hello from Pat Fero, Wisconsin CFS Association:

After our son died on July 4, 2005, I diverted any calls about CFS in
children because I thought that it would be cruel to parents of a kid
with CFS to hear about my experiences. The Baldwin family, Black
Mountain, NC called me late that summer to continue the communication
we had had since 2004. Lisa listened to me describe what happened to
Casey. I was careful to say that the chances of her son having
similar problems would be next to nothing.

Thus, since the fall of 2005, I have talked with Lisa many times.
When problems with Ryan's medical care began to mount, Lisa scanned
MD documents, letters to organizations, politicians, and finally
court documents. I have a file of these documents.

At this time Ryan is in a foster home, the parents charged with
medical abuse and "Fictitious disorder by Proxy." The situation is
entirely unbelievable. Lisa has expanded her website to include the
latest details.

Since I am not able to provide anything more, maybe the ME and CFS
community can help. Hence, I summarized a bit of Ryan's story from
Lisa's commentary.

A few things to keep in mind before you read the paragraphs below.
1. Ryan was determined to be medically disabled by Social Security
Administration in 2004 and again in 2008. Ryan did not draw
disability until 2009 because the Baldwin's income disqualified him.
With a reduction in income, they reapplied in 2008 and Ryan's
disability was granted. After receiving his second SSI disability
check this year, Ryan was removed to foster care.

I am in contact with the grandfather who believes that Ryan's
Medicare check now going to the county and his special needs status
that may make him eligible for federal money, is a reason to keep the
child in foster care. I cannot confirm this, and have no evidence of
this, but other such schemes to increase Health and Human Services
money have been investigated in Massachusetts, California, and Texas.

2. The parents have an attorney who is being paid for by a friend.
The family has a NC advocate and it took Lisa well over a year to
find an atty who would take the case. The first hearing was in
January and at that time, Ryan completed a psychiatric evaluation. I
have a copy. No problems were found. The second hearing was in early
February and a third will be in April. The medical reviewer for this
case is a Chapel Hill Pediatrician who gives seminars on child abuse
for CME credit. I question her objectivity about CFS and the obvious
inability to look at the entire medical record.

3. I think this is about the CFS diagnosis and the ignorance of the
medical community. It is also about the family's insistence on
quality care for the child, which means they have filed complaints on
local and state offices for a number of years. The result is to blame
the mother, a common thought with CFS and other unexplained illness
in children. This case is out of control.

Thank you in advance for any steps you might take to help. I so
apologize for the length of this, but I let my letter sit for a week
and seem to be unable to keep it short. I have years of supporting
documentation and I am willing to answer any questions and/or release
documents once I have the approval of the family.


Parent's and Grandparent's Legal Rights Defense Fund
Help Free Our Son Ryan Michael Baldwin

Please Help. We feel that a problem like this needs to involve our
local community - as without it we lose ourselves.

Please Call or fax NC Governor Bev Perdue and ask her to free
(medically disabled) Ryan Baldwin from DSS abuse. Please ask Governor
Perdue to investigate!

919-733-4240 or fax 919-733-2120.

Please donate to Baldwin Legal Defense Fund at:
Lisa and Rodney Baldwin
SunTrust Bank
200 Hwy 9
Black Mountain,
NC 28711
(828) 669-3568

Please contact any reliable media sources and we will talk with them.
We have all the records and nothing to hide.

Ryan is medically disabled and carries a diagnosis of CFS (2004),
severe autonomic dysfunction (2005), a progressive heart conduction
system block (LBBB) with right axis deviation (2008), and
Mitochondrial disease (2008). He has been to Johns Hopkins (2004),
Mayo Clinic (2005), Cleveland Clinic (2006), and was on referral to
UNC Chapel Hill for Mitochondrial disease (2008) when Buncombe County
NC Department of social services (DSS) interfered with all his
medical care. Before and during these years, we have tried to work
with local Primary Care MD's and local specialists.

Ryan was taken from us on 1/23/2009. He was first placed with his
grandparents. That was suspended after 2 weeks because DSS suspected
that they bought into our "fictitious belief" that Ryan is sick and
this made the situation worse for the child. Ryan was taken to a
medical foster care home for 4 weeks and is now 3 hours away from us
in another foster care where we have no access.

Before becoming disabled Ryan was an A student and extremely
educationally gifted. He played on a traveling soccer club at age 10.
After symptoms became severe, Ryan was home schooled at Keystone
National High School and we have paid out of pocket for his
educational program for the past 3 years. He was on target to
graduate next year after completing just three more courses.

Now, in foster care, Ryan receives no educational assistance (Telex
recorder, scribe, help with organizing) with his Keystone program.
DSS states that foster care does not do home schooling.

Buncombe County DSS is now asking Ryan to prove his disabilities to
them. He is held medical hostage at a Warrensville, NC foster home
and is denied appropriate medical care. The wheelchair(s) he uses
daily to conserve energy-- are being kept from him. His old power
wheelchair is in Weaverville, NC at Grandpa's house waiting for
pickup and his manual chair is in the back of a DSS Foster Care
placement Social Worker's car after she forgot to unload it. If Ryan
wanted to go for a walk, he would have no assistance. Furthermore,
Ryan is in a basement bedroom and must climb stairs to get meals or
communicate by phone. There is no wheelchair access.

Of note, his wheelchair attorney fought for Ryan's chair, a power
$22,000 wheelchair for close to 1 year. His new wheelchair deemed
medically necessary by Blue Cross Blue Shield, NC is not available to
him. Ryan has used a power and manual wheelchair for 5 years and
Cigna approved both in 2004. Clearly, he needs these medical aids.

This abuse to Ryan is ongoing while he proves his medical disability
to an uniformed and possibly biased foster parent. We have no idea
what information was provided to the placement parents. The
communication link we had was though Grandpa and that, too, is now
limited because after talking to Ryan numerous times, Grandpa e
mailed the court appointed guardian to ask for help and to complain
about the lack of medical care. Ryan is not holding ground. He is
relapsing. The guardian, in turn, informed the court and now all
calls are put on speakerphone. Grandpa is not allowed to ask about
medical issues. *

Ryan has not seen any friends or family in 7 weeks. His advocates
have not been allowed contact. Ryan misses his dog, his friends, and
us. Ryan has loving family who can accommodate his disabilities. Why
is he not with us?

We deserve better treatment as Buncombe County residents and US
citizens. Our children must not be subjected to such abuse. Please
help our plight and return Ryan Baldwin.


**In my last contact with the grandfather, he told me that any mail
Ryan receives must go to the guardian. I had planned to send the
kid a fruit basket IF I could get the address. Grandpa tells me that
Ryan's diet is limited and nutritional needs are not being met. In
addition, Ryan's phone access, aside from the speakerphone deal, is
limited. The Baldwin's feel like Ryan is in a holding tank. What can
we do?

In my letter about Ryan Baldwin posted 03/28/09, I left out contact information. So here it is: Lisa Baldwin (parent) 828-275-8823 or email address on website at Jerry Rice - local advocate 828-275-7607 home 828-667-3022 advocate phone #'s please leave a message and time to get back in touch.
Pat Fero - advocate
608 837 9540

1 comment:

mole said...

the kids address is -
Ryan Baldwin
C/o Evelyn Wade
413 waterfall mtn rd
warrensville, nc 28693

send him an easter card