A 3-year-old boy is at the center of a legal controversy after his parents decided to treat his leukemia using natural remedies.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Johns Hopkins doctors diagnosed Noah McAdams, 3, with lymphoblastic leukemia on April 4. This is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball initially had their son receiving chemotherapy treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. However, the couple said they began to grow concerned with the way doctors were handling Noah’s case.
During a hearing on Thursday, McAdams, 28, said:
“The hospital’s governing body was disorganized and the doctors were not pleasant or professional to us. It seemed like doctors were disappearing on us and just passing down Noah’s information second hand…There was intimidation from social workers who looked at me like I was not interested in my son’s health because I didn’t want to give my son chocolate milk, or pudding, or ice cream. I care for my son and it’s very important that we watch what he eats.”
Further, the father said his wife contacted doctors about their concerns, Tampa Bay Times reports. However, after staff did not provide the response the parents were seeking, they were fed up.
As a result, the family says they told doctors that Noah would no longer be undergoing chemo treatments. Then, they began to make their way to Ohio. It was here that Bland-Ball said she made arrangements for her son to meet with a different doctor. This physician would provide Noah with alternative treatments.
In court, Bland-Ball explained:
“We have phone records we have voicemails we left for them and we even spoke to the social worker the physicians assistant and the doctor to tell them we were seeking a second opinion.”
Further, McAdams testified that they had been treating Noah with CBD oil, fresh foods, and clean alkaline water.
However, after they failed to show up for the boy’s scheduled treatments, Florida authorities issued an endangered child alert on April 29. Officers found the family in a motel room in Georgetown, Kentucky hours after the alert went out.
Now, the couple has found themselves in court fighting for custody of their son. Further, they are under investigation regarding criminal charges of medical neglect. This is reportedly for refusing sufficient medical care for a child categorized as “gravely ill.”
However, Michael Minardi, the couple’s lawyer, said Noah recently took a blood test that showed no trace of cancer.
“I know a doctor’s not going to come back and say that chemotherapy is the best option and is the only treatment for him and I think that’s the problem we have in this country right now is the fallacy of doctors pushing chemotherapy … It destroys people.”
However, Dr. Bijal D. Shah sent a very different message while speaking with the Tampa Bay Times.
For instance, the doctor said:
“I put it in the same box as those who fear vaccination. The reality is, what we risk by not taking chemotherapy, just as what we risk by not taking vaccines, is much, much worse.”
However, Bland-Ball shared a Facebook post on May 3 saying that she and McAdams aren’t opposed to chemo.
Currently, Noah has been returned to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. However, he is not receiving treatment. At the end of Thursday’s hearing, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Lisa Campbell ruled that Noah will go home with his maternal grandparents following discharge.
A decision the family’s supporters are calling “medical kidnapping,” The Washington Post reports.
In a later hearing, the judge will decide on the best treatment for Noah. The judge will also decide whether the parents were within their rights to refuse chemotherapy, Tampa Bay Times reports.
This little boy gasped, smiled and cried when he saw us for the first time since Tuesday night. We took him outside…
Prior to the hearing, Bland-Ball laid out “happy” pictures of her family. She says it was an attempt to show the court that “there’s really no reason to go through all this.”