Florida couple who took cancer-stricken son, 4, off chemotherapy in favor of alternative treatment denied custody
Joshua McAdams, 27, and his partner Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, were told they have a chance to regain custody by working with child protection services and by obeying all requirements set by the judge.
TAMPA, FLORIDA: A Florida couple who saw their four-year-old cancer-stricken son taken away from them after they refused to take him for chemotherapy in favor of natural remedies have been denied custody by a judge. Joshua McAdams, 27, and his partner Taylor Bland-Ball, 22, were informed by Judge Thomas Palermo at the conclusion of the custody trial for their son, Noah, that the young boy would continue to stay in the care of his maternal grandmother and continue chemotherapy treatment, according to the Daily Mail.
MEAWW previously reported how the ordeal unfolded after Noah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, this past April 4.
He was subsequently admitted into the All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he underwent two rounds of chemotherapy, before he was pulled out by his parents. The hospital alerted the police when the couple failed to bring in Noah for his chemotherapy treatment on April 22, and complained that McAdams and Bland-Ball "refused to follow up with the life saving medical care" and were possibly headed out-of-state.
By the time police received a court order to take Noah into child protective services, McAdams and Bland-Ball had fled the state to Kentucky. When they were eventually tracked down to a hotel in Georgetown on April 29, they denied fleeing Florida and claimed they were on their way to a Cincinnati doctor to consult about alternative treatments. At the time, an attorney for the couple said they were seeking other treatments because the initial chemotherapy had started to work and had started showing positive signs.
The attorney said Bland-Ball and McAdams wanted to treat Noah’s cancer with medical cannabis, CBD oils, a strict alkaline diet, and vitamins, instead of following the chemo route. Bland-Ball also took to Facebook to accuse social media critics and media outlets of "not covering the whole story" and insisted that the 10 days her son had spent at All Children's Hospital receiving chemotherapy had worked miracles. She said the doctors had allowed her to leave after test results showed no signs of cancer cells, and that though doctors at the hospital had given her son the all-clear, she and McAdams took the four-year-old out of state for a second opinion.
During the custody trial, Bland-Ball testified that she removed Noah's PICC line -- the catheter tube inserted into the vein of the patient used to deliver long-term intravenous (IV) antibiotics, nutrition or medications -- by herself despite having no medical expertise. She said she was still comfortable removing it because she watched a YouTube video on how to do it.
McAdams was questioned about his history of domestic violence by the prosecutors as well. He was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery in 2016 after he threw a plastic toy bucket at Bland-Ball and cut Noah's face. The 27-year-old also admitted to throwing a toy through a window and breaking it on another occasion. Denying the couple custody, Palermo said McAdams is "an untimely threat to them because of his anger issues," and recommended that both he and Bland-Ball seek mental health evaluations.
However, they have a chance to regain custody by working with child protection services and by obeying all requirements set by the judge.