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Child Abuse Pediatrician Testimony Rips a South Carolina Family Apart

Jennifer Ray family portrait
Jennifer Ray family portrait

Robbie and Jennifer Ray with their twins Evren and Elijah at Christmas 2017. Photograph offered by household.

By Well being Impression Information/ Employees

One physician says that the ONLY means a baby’s accidents might occur is by “brute force.” Different docs can take a look at the identical knowledge and say that that the accidents might have been brought on by an accident, metabolic dysfunction, dietary deficiency, an infection, or different non-abusive mechanism.

When these two views collide, then justice calls for that we look at different proof. Is there a historical past of violence? Is there different proof of abuse? Has anybody witnessed abuse? What concerning the perspective of those that know the accused – is abuse in keeping with the character of the one that is accused?

All too typically, mother and father lose their youngsters to Child Protecting Providers, typically completely, and others have gone to jail based mostly on the testimony of 1 specific type of physician – a Child Abuse Pediatrician (CAP) – regardless that there isn’t any different proof that the mother and father have abused their youngster.

Robbie and Jennifer Ray of South Carolina are dealing with simply such a state of affairs. Dr. Susan Lamb, CAP at Palmetto Well being Youngsters’s Hospital, says that the one potential rationalization for the couple’s twins’ accidents is baby abuse, despite the fact that different docs and their households disagree. Jennifer Ray advised Well being Impression Information:

If there isn’t any proof to show bodily abuse, then that you must second guess the analysis [made by the child abuse doctor].

CAPs current themselves to the general public and to the courts that they’re “THE experts” on all issues baby abuse associated. But there are different docs, lots of whom are extremely esteemed specialists of their respective fields who dispute the findings and conclusions of the CAPs.

We lately reported that the Helfer Society, an elite group of CAPs, has made it a part of their mission to teach the general public and media that their means is the proper means, calling into query the reputations of any docs who disagree with them. See:

Elite Medical Docs Search to Management the Media and Public’s Notion of Child Abuse Specialists

Although CAPs solely started to be board-certified in 2010, their historical past traces its roots again to a group of pediatric radiologists who started writing and organizing within the 1940’s to set themselves up as specialists in with the ability to see what no different docs have been intelligent sufficient to see. Their papers shaped the idea of what we now know as Child Protecting Providers. See:

Has the U.S. Develop into a Medical Police State? How Docs Deny Due Course of to Kidnap Youngsters Via CPS

Historical past of Shaken Child Theories Uncovered: How an Elite Group of Pediatric Radiologists Began Medical Kidnapping within the 1940s

The Ray household story is yet one more instance of a story repeated all throughout the USA and throughout the ocean within the UK, Australia, and different nations – that of oldsters accused of abuse based mostly on the interpretation of 1 type of physician, a Child Abuse Pediatrician, with out another proof that signifies that they abused their youngster. Family and buddies who know them greatest have written letters affirming that they know the mother and father to be caring individuals incapable of injuring anybody. Whereas there isn’t a historical past of violence, there’s household historical past of medical circumstances that may trigger fragile bones.

How is it that we now have given the facility of decide, jury, and executioner to at least one type of physician, even when different docs disagree with them? How is it that regulation enforcement investigators, social staff, and another docs cease investigating additional the second that a CAP declares “child abuse”?

The Ray Family Story

Jennifer Ray describes her being pregnant with twins Evren and Elijah Ray as “great.” She took a lot of Tums for heartburn, however in any other case she loved being pregnant.

When the infants’ progress slowed down over the past weeks of being pregnant and Jennifer developed pre-eclampsia, docs determined that it was time for the infants to be born at 36 half weeks. They arrived on Might 9, 2017, by way of c-section. They have been pulled out of the womb by their ankles.

They spent simply 6 hours within the NICU after start, however each infants have been jaundiced. They have been despatched residence with bili lights to assist deliver down the excessive bilirubin ranges. Over the course of the subsequent couple of weeks, the infants had blood drawn from their heels greater than 20 occasions as their ranges have been monitored.

The final heel stick check was on the 2-week physician go to on Wednesday, Might 24. The infants acquired all the routine vaccines that day.

Jennifer Ray and twins

Jennifer Ray together with her twins Evren and Elijah. Photograph offered by household.

Each Jennifer and Robbie Ray come from giant households, and the Memorial Day weekend was a time for the prolonged household to have fun and luxuriate in the brand new infants who have been now 2 1/2 weeks previous. Evren was “fussier than usual” by means of the lengthy weekend, however they assumed that it was colic and tried treating her with gripe water.

It was Tuesday morning, Might 30, that Jennifer observed that her daughter Evren’s ankle appeared swollen. As she appeared nearer, she discovered a bruise. Jennifer referred to as her husband at work and her mom who lived down the road. Her subsequent name was to the pediatrician, who informed her to return in at four:30 that afternoon.

The pediatrician despatched Jennifer over to the close by hospital, Palmetto Well being Youngsters’s Hospital, for x-rays. Her mom was together with her, and her husband met them on the hospital. It was there that the Ray household’s lives turned the wrong way up.

An x-ray revealed that Evren’s proper ankle was fractured. Because the surprised mother and father tried to determine how their child’s ankle might have been damaged, the hospital’s Child Abuse Pediatrician Dr. Susan Lamb had already been consulted.

dr susan lamb

Dr. Susan Lamb – Child Abuse Pediatrician at Palmetto Well being Youngsters’s Hospital. Photograph supply.

American Academy of Pediatrics protocols, written by Child Abuse Pediatricians, state that sure accidents point out that a baby has been abused, together with:

Fracture(s) in nonambulatory infants, particularly in these with out a clear historical past of trauma or a recognized medical situation that predisposes to bone fragility. (Supply.)

The identical coverage assertion says that when “there is either no explanation or a vague explanation given for a significant injury,” it ought to “raise a concern for abusive trauma.” See:

Exposing How Child Abuse Pediatricians Medically Kidnap Youngsters: A Information for Mother and father

The Rays had no rationalization. They didn’t understand how the damage occurred. Whereas they have been being interrogated by the Child Abuse Pediatrician, they have been asking questions themselves, making an attempt to determine what might have occurred.

Jennifer recollects that Dr. Lamb advised them that there was no means that this was an unintentional damage and that “brute force was needed in a pull and twist manner.”

She additionally informed them that it appeared that there was a fracture on child Elijah’s ankle as nicely, together with 2 bruises on his again.

The “bruises” have been tiny pink marks on his again first famous by Dr. Lamb, who stated that the bruises have been brought on by “blunt force trauma.” Jennifer stated that nobody in her household had seen the bruises, they usually might properly have occurred within the hospital as he was being dealt with by the docs. He had by no means proven any signs of damage in any respect and had all the time been a comfortable child.

South Carolina Division of Social Providers (DSS) and regulation enforcement have been referred to as, and each infants have been admitted to the hospital that night time. One investigator reportedly informed the mother and father that she didn’t see any indicators of abuse and allowed them to stick with their infants that night time.

The subsequent day, Robbie and Jennifer Ray have been escorted out of the hospital and their Three-week-old infants have been positioned into foster care with strangers, based mostly on the allegations of abuse by the Child Abuse Pediatrician. Based on Jennifer:

Their WHOLE case depends on the testimony from that one “child abuse specialist” who stated the ONLY approach their accidents might have occurred have been from baby abuse.

The household’s lawyer was later capable of get the twins positioned with an aunt. In the meantime, the household sought solutions. One physician advised them that Evren’s fracture was a hairline fracture that ought to heal inside a couple of weeks. One other physician advised them that they couldn’t discover Elijah’s “fracture” on the x-ray.

Jennifer requested DSS to check the infants’ Vitamin D ranges. When the social employee requested Dr. Lamb about testing, she reportedly replied that there was no means that that they had rickets.

This isn’t shocking. Because the 1940s, pediatric radiologists and, later, Child Abuse Pediatricians have made it clear of their papers that they don’t take childish rickets, or some other medical rationalization for bone fragility, significantly.

That is in distinction to quite a few different docs around the globe who assert that a lot of what’s referred to as baby abuse is definitely a medical situation comparable to a metabolic bone dysfunction, dietary deficiency, or childish rickets, or a easy unintentional damage that would occur to anybody. See:

Has the U.S. Turn out to be a Medical Police State? How Docs Deny Due Course of to Kidnap Youngsters Via CPS

Historical past of Shaken Child Theories Uncovered: How an Elite Group of Pediatric Radiologists Began Medical Kidnapping within the 1940s

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Quickly after, Jennifer requested that the follow-up orthopedic physician contemplate the potential of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and have their Vitamin D ranges checked. Dr. Whitaker contacted Dr. Lamb, who informed him that it was not attainable for Ehlers-Danlos to have brought about the fractures.

Dr. Lamb’s perspective is in line with that of different Child Abuse Pediatricians, however there are research from different docs that point out in any other case. These are docs with out a vested curiosity find abuse, whether or not or not it really exists.

World-renowned Vitamin D skilled Dr. Michael Holick is understood for his work on Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. He revealed a paper in 2017 entitled, “Multiple fractures in infants who have Ehlers-Danlos/hypermobility syndrome and or vitamin D deficiency: A case series of 72 infants whose parents were accused of child abuse and neglect.” (Supply.)

Nevertheless, he’s definitely not alone in his medical perspective that the collagen deficiency syndrome might be linked to bone fragility. A 2015 Italian research revealed by the Endocrine Society discovered a “High Prevalence of Vertebral Fractures in Patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.” (Supply.)

A comparable research was revealed in 2016 by Osteoporosis Worldwide. (Supply.)

In September of 2017, the Rays flew to Boston to see Dr. Holick. Each mother and father have been recognized with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, hypermobility sort Three. There’s additionally household historical past that signifies that there are different relations with this inherited dysfunction. Each Jennifer and Evren have the basic EDS signal of blue sclerae of their eyes. Different signs within the twins embrace gastroparesis, which is usually misdiagnosed as reflux, clear mottled pores and skin, profuse sweating, joint clicking, and pores and skin flushing.

Regardless of his findings, Dr. Holick’s report was by no means introduced up within the Rays’ courtroom case.

Did Heel Sticks Trigger Fracture?

The reason for what occurred to the twins might be one thing a lot easier and fewer controversial. On the infants’ follow-up orthopedic appointment in September, Dr. Christopher Hydorn reportedly advised the household that the accidents might have occurred from the quite a few blood attracts from their heels.

Due to their jaundice, that they had greater than 20 “heel sticks” of their first 2 weeks of life. Jennifer notes that “Evren was harder to draw blood from.”


The heel stick process might be tough, particularly if the practitioner is having a troublesome time getting a blood pattern. Photograph supply.

A household good friend who can also be a long-time OB nurse has recognized Jennifer for greater than 15 years. She wrote a letter to the courtroom on the Ray household’s behalf, talking of how variety and loving that Jennifer has all the time been to youngsters, the aged, and to animals.

This was one in every of many such character witnesses who wrote letters on behalf of Jennifer and Robbie. Based on the nurse:

Once I was informed of the case DSS filed I used to be dumfounded. At NO time did the thought cross my thoughts that there was any benefit to the accusations.

As a nurse who drew blood to verify bilirubin ranges from numerous toddler heels I instantly assumed the blood draw brought on damage. I’ve private information and expertise of how troublesome it may be to get the blood …

I personally have squeezed and bent little ft to get the blood, hating the strain I used to be inflicting however understanding the potential mind injury from a very excessive bilirubin was a far higher danger than a bruise and even hairline fracture.

These youngsters are being robbed of their loving house and household unit, these mother and father are being robbed of 1st everythings. Evren and Eli might not keep in mind this time spent aside. Jen and Robbie will always remember.

Dr. Lamb later testified that one can’t take a look at bruising and inform how previous the bruises are. One other physician informed Jennifer that Evren’s fractures on the x-ray seemed to be therapeutic and might be a week and a half to 2 weeks previous.

The twins’ Guardian advert Litem informed the mother and father that she believed that the accidents possible occurred through the heel sticks.

Trial – Infants to Go Residence

Dr. Lamb testified within the Child Protecting Providers listening to on the morning of December four, 2017. When courtroom resumed after lunch, the mother and father have been requested to make a deal to reunify. Witnesses on behalf of the mother and father by no means testified.

The mother and father have been required to finish assessments with a DSS-approved counselor to find out their danger of abusing their youngsters. Each handed with flying colours. Their solely analysis was Acute Stress Dysfunction from having their youngsters taken from them.

Reunification would start with unsupervised weekend visits after DSS acquired the outcomes of the assessments.

Instantly the couple scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic physician to attempt to get a definitive reply as to what had prompted their infants’ accidents. Despite the fact that the trial was over, they nonetheless needed “to know if there was anything wrong that they needed to know about for the babies.”

Residence at Final

Evren and Elijah had been gone since they have been Three weeks previous. They have been now virtually eight months previous. Jennifer and Robbie had by no means actually had the probability to be mother and father to their youngsters. The primary unsupervised go to started on Christmas Eve. The subsequent was New Yr’s weekend. The vacations have been crammed with visits from family members who have been excited that the twins have been lastly transitioning residence.

Jennifer describes their New Yr collectively:

We have been blessed to ring within the New Yr as a household once more. Robbie and I sat with the youngsters in our laps and cried completely happy and unhappy tears with our youngsters when the ball dropped. New Yr’s Eve Evren stated her first phrase which was “Da-Da.” We have been slated to convey the youngsters house formally on February seventh.

Their first alternative to lastly act considerably like a “normal” household was the next weekend.

Evren is generally the extra outgoing and unbiased of the twins, however that day she didn’t appear to really feel nicely on that Saturday, January 6. Since a number of prolonged relations had skilled colds, Jennifer says that they questioned if she was coming down with a chilly.

When the infants went down for his or her naps, Jennifer headed to the shop to get a few issues whereas Robbie watched them.

When the infants awakened from their nap, Robbie fastened their bottles. Elijah favored to be held and beloved on when he took his bottle, however Evren favored to carry her personal bottle. Robbie put Evren in her Snugapuppy swing and gave her the bottle. He didn’t understand until later that he didn’t buckle her in utterly. One leg was not strapped in.

Robbie sat on the sofa and commenced feeding Elijah. A couple of minutes later, he heard a “thud,” then noticed Evren mendacity the carpet with her face on the metallic bar of the swing. He set Elijah down on the ground and rolled his unresponsive daughter over. He might see instantly that it was dangerous and he referred to as 911.

On reflection, the Rays consider that she should have dropped her bottle, tried to go after it, and fell out of the swing.

Shortly after the paramedics obtained her into the ambulance, Robbie heard her crying. A paramedic informed the terrified father that her cries have been a good signal and that she was coming round.

Family members who reside close by heard the sirens and got here operating. Jennifer’s telephone wasn’t working proper, so she didn’t hear any telephone calls. She arrived house shortly after the ambulance left and located an empty home. The automotive seats have been nonetheless there, so she assumed he should have taken the infants to her mother and father’ home. She says that when she referred to as her husband:

…he was sobbing in panic when he answered the telephone and was extraordinarily upset making an attempt to inform me what had occurred and that he was so sorry for not strapping her in all the best way.

She rode together with her mom to the hospital. A relative had picked up Elijah from the home. Different relations gathered on the hospital.

Evren’s proper eye was swollen and she or he had a purple line throughout her nostril. She was intubated, and x-rays confirmed that her proper femur was damaged close to the hip. There was subdural hemorrhaging (mind bleeding) as properly.

Jennifer Ray Evren ER Hospital Photo 01062018 - 938PM5 (2)

Evren within the hospital after falling out of the swing. Photograph offered by household.

Child Abuse Pediatrician Dr. Susan Lamb was working that day at Palmetto Well being Youngsters’s Hospital. In line with a police report:

When Dr. Lamb arrived, she examined [Evren] and after taking a look at her, she offered that the accidents she noticed weren’t in keeping with the report of [Evren] falling out of a swing.

The unique grievance for removing states that Dr. Lamb:

…”decided that Evren suffered from bilateral [on both sides of the head] subdural hemorrhaging…. [She] decided that these accidents have been indicative of bodily abuse, as a result of blunt pressure trauma to each side of her head.”

Subdural hemorrhage is, based on Child Abuse Pediatricians, indicative of Shaken Child Syndrome, or Abusive Head Trauma as CAPs choose to name it.

The CT scan completed at 5:55 pm that day didn’t present bilateral hemorrhaging, however somewhat discovered that “there is a small right sided subdural hematoma,” which the Rays consider can be in keeping with their daughters fall from the swing.

Dr. Lamb stated that there have been bruises on the infant’s ears and that there have been “multiple planes” of accidents that she stated have been inconsistent with the daddy’s rationalization.

Jennifer Ray 2018 Jan 7 - Pic of Evrens Swing & Impact Spot

This earlier photograph exhibits Evren in her swing at her aunt’s home with the purpose of influence marked. Observe that one of many bars is barely greater than the opposite bar that it connects to on the bottom, which might account for accidents on “multiple planes.” Photograph provided by household.

A tightly-held doctrine asserted by Child Abuse Pediatricians is that the signs of Abusive Head Trauma can’t come up from brief falls. Different docs refute this assertion. There are case research and different medical articles displaying that brief falls can certainly trigger critical damage and even demise, corresponding to a 2001 research revealed in The American Journal of Forensic Drugs and Pathology (Supply).

Extra lately, Dr. Steven Gabaeff has revealed analysis difficult the subdural hematoma/abuse analysis connection, asserting that:

…clinically, brief falls have been documented to trigger critical damage. (Supply).

At one level, Dr. Lamb advised the Rays that the leg fracture was 2 weeks previous, although not one of the relations’ accounts point out any signal of damage earlier than she fell. Some relations had been on the Ray house solely hours earlier than the accident, however the one grievance anybody famous was that she didn’t appear to really feel nicely, as if she have been coming down with a chilly.

As soon as Dr. Lamb decreed that Evren had been abused, different docs and regulation enforcement fell according to her playbook, repeating her allegations that the child’s accidents couldn’t be defined by the brief fall out of the swing that Evren’s father described and thus needed to be abuse. Jennifer Ray calls it a “snowball effect.”

Police arrested Robbie Ray Three days later based mostly on Dr. Lamb’s phrase. Based on the police report:

Medical professionals [i.e. Dr. Susan Lamb – Child Abuse Pediatrician] stated the kid’s accidents are in step with abuse, and inconsistent with the account offered by Ray.

Whereas Evren was within the hospital, she developed a excessive fever and confirmed a excessive white blood cell rely. She was handled with a number of antibiotics for a urinary tract an infection, e-coli, and MRSA.

A mind scan additionally later confirmed an infarction, or an space of mind tissue demise, in response to Dr. Lamb’s remaining report. Medical data present that there was no infarction within the CT scan that was carried out on the primary day.

Jennifer Ray twins at visit a year old

Evren and Elijah Ray enjoying with their household at a go to a number of months after Evren’s accident. She is “doing great.” She nonetheless has some weak spot however she has recovered excellently, in response to her household. Photograph offered by household.

The household believes that there was extra happening within the hospital with their daughter, however there are conflicting medical studies. They don’t have clear solutions, they usually nonetheless don’t know if their youngsters have an underlying metabolic situation.

They don’t understand how they obtained an an infection or why docs inserted a “central line” into Evren’s femoral artery. They know that they themselves have been recognized with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and that their youngsters usually tend to have it as a result of they do.

Child Protecting Providers seized custody of each infants and positioned them in foster care, this time with strangers. There was a time period that the twins have been even separated from one another.

Social staff defined that they didn’t need any family members to have the infants, as a result of then Jennifer and Robbie may need “access” to their youngsters. Jennifer wasn’t even residence when the accident occurred, however DSS needs to terminate her parental rights in addition to Robbie’s. The DSS objective is now to undertake them out.

Within the Termination of Parental Rights petition in April 2018, DSS wrote:

Evern [sic] Ray is mind lifeless on the proper aspect of her mind.

Dr. Susan Lamb said that the kid might not reside, because of the extent of her accidents.

Ray children on slide Oct 16 2018

Elijah and Evren appear to be doing properly. This photograph was taken at a go to on October 16, 2018. Provided by household.

Dr. Lamb – “My Job Is to Interpret”

The widespread thread in lots of medical kidnap tales is a Child Abuse Pediatrician. Mother and father lose their youngsters, and a few go to jail, and the one “evidence” that they abused their youngsters is the interpretation of a Child Abuse Pediatrician. That interpretation is the lens by way of which social staff, regulation enforcement, and judges view the mother and father and the case.

Any testimony or studies of docs who disagree with the allegation of abuse is dismissed, and proof of the mother and father’ innocence is usually ignored. The testimonies of the mother and father’ character from individuals who have recognized them their entire lives turns into irrelevant as soon as a narrative to comply with has been decided.

It isn’t the medical proof or information that convict mother and father; it’s the INTERPRETATION of the info that indicators the household’s demise warrant and tears households aside.

Dr. Susan Lamb spoke about how she sees her position as a Child Abuse Pediatrician in a video that was beforehand on the Palmetto Well being Youngsters’s Hospital web site (right here), and on YouTube. It has since been taken down after the Rays posted it on social media. Jennifer Ray recorded the video earlier than it disappeared.

Here’s what Dr. Lamb said within the video:

We simply present medical info, medical diagnoses, and assist them perceive.

We don’t work for DSS. We don’t work for regulation enforcement. We’re simply medical interpreters. We sort of stand at that hole between the medical world and the investigative world, and we interpret for them.

It’s amassing the medical items and placing them collectively and making an attempt to assist the investigators work out what might or couldn’t have occurred to this youngster.

Dr. Lamb works for the Metropolitan Youngsters’s Advocacy Middle in Columbia, South Carolina. (Supply).

In accordance with SC state regulation, the Youngsters’s Advocacy Facilities are sanctioned and funded by the state to deal with baby abuse. (Supply).

Revealed on December four, 2018

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