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state tries to take couple's 'miracle baby'
Charlie's family never gave up the fight for their premature baby boy. But just when they thought Charlie was out of the woods they faced losing him to a new danger. The state's Child Protective Services tried to take Charlie away after his parents asked for a second medical opinion. The KOMO 4 Problem Solvers investigated what it took to "Save Charlie".
Charlie Gragg, born at just 25 weeks was incredibly precious and unimaginably tiny. His future was far from certain. "It was very frightening," recalls Charlie's mother, Laura Gragg.
The journey from here a neo natal intensive care baby to the miracle baby who just had his first birthday "Oxandrolone Powder India" has been a Masteron For Endurance torturous, year long odyssey. "A lot of it was overwhelming, to tell you the truth," says father John Gragg. "It was the worst thing in my life."
Charlie still faces medical challenges, primarily regarding his lung function. Although he is slowly being weaned off his ventilator, he still uses it to help him breathe most of the time. In his bedroom, little boy toys fight for space with machines. His parents trained extensively, learning how to keep Charlie alive.
But the toughest challenge John and Laura Gragg faced was nearly losing Charlie to the state's Child Protective Service. "They were telling us they had a foster family ready," says Laura, "I just Buy Cheap Jintropin Online I bawled my eyes out." Mary Bridge Children's Hospital had called CPS after "Oxandrolone Powder India" a series of events that nearly cost Charlie his life. Laura Gragg's reaction? "I can't, I can't let this happen we've been through too much already."
But what led to Charlie's medical emergency? Why did the hospital call CPS? And why did CPS sue to take Charlie away? The Graggs think it's because they were "too" involved. "It's in the notes," says John Gragg, referring to the Mary Bridge Hospital records. "'Parents ask endless questions seems repetitive it's annoying.' Of course we want to ask these questions; we want to know what it says; we have every right to understand and know what's going on."
The Graggs asked the Problem Solvers to investigate. We found that the Gragg's desire for a second medical opinion along with questions about Charlie's tracheostomy tube are at the core of what happened.
"This is the trach he was sent home with," John showed us an infant sized tracheostomy tube as he explained what happened. Seven days after Charlie was discharged from Mary Bridge he stopped breathing.
"He was just limp, and he was dark blue. I mean he looked like he was dead." Laura still gets emotional as she thinks about that day. John pumped air into Charlie's lungs while Laura did CPR until paramedics arrived. Charlie was stabilized and transported to Mary Bridge.
It turns out Charlie's trach tube was plugged. "But we saw the trach," says Laura, "and it definitely had a clog in it." The hospital said Charlie Primobolan In Thailand had aspirated his mother's milk and that clogged the 4-chlorodehydromethyltestosteron trach.
But two Oral Steroids With Or Without Food days before Charlie was first discharged, hospital records the Problem Solvers reviewed show he'd had a similar episode. The Graggs says Mary Bridge never told them.
Dr. Linda Petter is a family practice doctor and has written two books on patient advocacy. She says Charlie experienced what's called bradycardia. "I think a bradycardia episode is significant enough that the family should be informed."
The Problem Solvers asked her to look at what happened during Charlie's emergency both at home and in the hospital. "The first thing you think about is there a mucus buildup that actually has caused that low heart rate? And it's serious, actually can be a life threatening condition if it's not treated properly."
Mary Bridge would not do an on camera interview but, in a written statement, say they told the parents Charlie had had periodic episodes like this. Records the Problem Solvers reviewed don't reflect that. And the Graggs insist they were never told. John Gragg: "It's very, very, very upsetting."
What the hospital "did" want was to surgically implant a new feeding tube lower in Charlie's abdomen. It would be Charlie's ninth surgery. The Graggs didn't believe that would address the clogged trach and were suspicious. John says he told Mary Bridge they wanted a second opinion telling them, "We want him transferred to Children's."
There was also an issue over Mary Bridge's discharge orders. To keep Charlie's trach clear so he can breathe, it needs to be suctioned frequently to keep mucus and other secretions from clogging it. Mary Bridge's discharge orders clearly call for a suction depth of 11 centimeters a tiny probe is actually inserted down the trach tube and is supposed to clear the bottom keeping it open.
But the Graggs showed us on one of their extra trach tubes how suctioning to 11 would not clear the bottom of his trach. And as seen in later hospital orders the suctioning level is 14 centimeters. "And we thought we were going to the proper depth and following what they had to say," says John, "and almost lost him." Again in their written statement Mary Bridge says their discharge orders for suctioning the trach tube were appropriate.
The Graggs say Mary Bridge just kept insisting, in spite of medical reports that show no evidence of reflux, that Charlie had reflux "Buy Cheap Jintropin Online" and needed a different feeding tube. "I says, well we'd like to get a second medical opinion; we want him transferred over to Children's," says John. "Doctor looks right at us and says if you don't sign the consent form to do this, we're gonna get a court order to do it."
Mary Bridge called CPS. Regional Children's Administration Manager Barb Geiger says, "And the concerns that were presented to us was that the parents were not consenting to that treatment." The Problem Solvers reviewed the CPS documents and found that Mary Bridge's initial report to the state never mentions the Graggs' request for a second opinion.
Dr. Petter says a second opinion can be invaluable for both patients and doctors. "Second opinions are very, very helpful and an important part of medicine." We asked her if the Graggs had a right to seek a second opinion? "Absolutely they did."
According to the state Mary Bridge also never told them that Charlie had stopped breathing and turned blue before he was released from the hospital. But four days after CPS was called in the state decided it was "medical neglect" and sued, asking the court for custody of Charlie. Tillett of Washington Families United says the state "should have done a more thorough investigation." WFU advocates for families fighting the state over custody issues. She says with the Graggs there's no question the state over reacted. "They acted out of haste and did not have all the information."
Geiger told us they have to rely on the information they receive from doctors and nurses. "We're not medical professionals; we're social workers."
In the meantime Charlie was transferred to Seattle Children's Hospital. The Graggs got their second opinion and consented to the surgery. But the state didn't drop their suit. Instead they had a foster family prepare to take Charlie home.
We asked why the state continued to seek dependency after the surgery was performed? "We were very concerned for the baby," says Geiger, "and wanted to make sure that he had the necessary care once he was released from the hospital as well."
However, records show that the day after the Graggs' attorney sent the state copies of Charlie's discharge orders, his reflux tests and information about the trach suction depth, the state dropped its suit, agreeing there was "no" medical neglect and Charlie would stay with his parents.
"I mean every parent, when they have something going wrong with their baby, they're going to want to know everything," says Laura Gragg, "and I think we were doing what any other parent would do."
That's borne out by the notes from care notes from at Seattle Children's hospital. Caregivers there said they believed the Graggs were "set up for failure" and got a "bum rap" and that they "were as good as any family they have worked with." But to save Charlie, it cost the Graggs thousands in attorneys fees and put the young family through two months of hell.
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