A young Russian couple, now living in California, saw their 5-month-old son forcibly pulled from their home for the crime of seeking a second opinion for his medical treatment.
We hear it every day — before having any major surgery seek a second opinion. Certainly open heart surgery would come under the heading “major.”
Anna and Alex Nikolayev took their son Sammy to Sacramento’s Sutter Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, Apr. 23 when he began exhibiting signs that he may have the flu. When a nurse injected the boy with antibiotics without having yet seen a doctor, she grew concerned.
“I asked her, ‘For what is that?’ And she’s like ‘I don’t know.’ And then I said ‘You’re working as a nurse, and you don’t know what you’re giving my baby?’” Anna Nikolayev told Sacramento ABC affiliate News 10.
When the doctor arrived, he admitted the baby should not have been given the antibiotics but wanted to keep him there for open heart surgery as soon as possible. The Nikolayevs knew Sammy would need the surgery at some point in his life — he’d had a heart murmur since birth — but there had never been a sense of urgency until at that moment. So they wanted a second opinion.
“If [they made] one mistake after another, I don’t want to let my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,” Anna said to News 10.
So they took him to Kaiser Parmanente Medical Center, also in Sacramento, to get that second opinion. However, the couple didn’t receive the proper discharge from Sutter before removing their son.
A physician at Kaiser examined the boy and wrote a note for the parents reading, “I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents.” Soon the police, alerted by Sutter, arrived to investigate Sutter’s complaint, and were presented with the doctor’s note and an infant son in apparent good health.
“[The police] saw the baby was fine,” Anna told News 10. “They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought this baby was dying in our arms. So police saw the report from doctors and said, ‘Okay, you guys have a good day,’ then walked away.”
That should have been the end of it, but just one day later the police arrived with a Child Protective Services representatives employee but without a warrant and removed Sammy from the Nikolayev home. From then until a hearing held Monday, the parents were only allowed very limited, supervised visitations.
Since Monday’s hearing, the Nikolayevs have been granted unrestricted 24/7 visits with Sammy, but he’s still not home where he should be.
“You’re sitting there like in prison, they’re watching you not to do anything wrong. Holding your child in your hands being safe but you just feel like you’re not yourself,” Anna explained.
“You’re being watched over by a lot of people actually,” Alex added. “It’s not that comforting.”
Watch the news clips below from ABC News-10.
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