Florida judge orders 3-year-old with cancer continue receiving chemotherapy despite parents' objection
A judge on Wednesday ruled against the Florida parents who stopped their son from getting chemotherapy as they sought alternative treatments to fight his leukemia. The Hillsborough County judge ordered 3-year-old boy Noah McAdams continue receiving chemotherapy treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital within the next 28 days, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.
The couple was fighting to regain custody of their 3-year-old boy, ever since they were accused of keeping the child away from medical treatment. Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball temporarily lost custody of their son, Noah, after they allegedly refused to get his cancer treatment.
As per the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the couple, who appeared in court Tuesday for a custody hearing, refused to provide their child with a "medically necessary hospital procedure."
Noah, the little boy who was recently diagnosed with cancer, is currently being cared for by his maternal grandparents. The sheriff's office had reportedly acted upon a tip from the department's children's services unit when they issued a missing person alert for Noah on April 29 saying McAdams and Bland-Ball "refused to follow up with the life saving medical care" and were possibly headed to Kentucky.
The couple and their son were later found at the hotel they were staying in Kentucky, according to Bland-Ball and police officials. However, the parents insisted they were not keeping their son from getting treatment, but were in Kentucky to seek a second opinion.
An attorney to the couple said that after the initial chemotherapy had started to work and Noah's tests results started showing positive signs, McAdams and Bland-Ball decided to end the hospital's treatment plan early and seek alternative methods of treatment for their son. Child protective investigators didn't see Noah being a "healthy" child and got a court order to take Noah from his parents for "neglect."
On Sunday, in a Facebook Live Video, Bland-Ball addressed the social media critics and media outlets, accusing them of "not covering the whole story," and further added that Noah was discharged from Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg after spending 10 days there, during which he did receive chemotherapy.
The mother's account says that doctors allowed the family to leave after test results showed no signs of cancer cells. She said that even though doctors at the hospital had given her son the all-clear, she and McAdams wanted to seek a second opinion, something that the staff at Johns Hopkins was not happy about.
"They called us about a thousand times," she said. "We left and we went up to Kentucky. ... We just wanted the time to get our second opinion." However, even before the couple could see a doctor in Kentucky, police authorities in the state located them and transferred Noah back to Florida under the care of child protective services, Bland-Ball said on Facebook.
“Our kid should not be away from us and we are not neglecting our kid,” she said. “The media made it look like we were neglectful criminals.” As per the couple's attorney, Bland-Ball and McAdams want to treat Noah’s cancer with medical cannabis, CBD oils, a strict diet, and vitamins, instead of following the chemo route.
"We feel bad the media is not able to be a part of this to expose the misinformation given by the doctors in this case and the real threats of chemotherapy," the couple's attorney told NBC News in a statement. "We will continue to fight for the parents and the patients right to use something 71 percent of Floridians and the Florida legislature has specifically permitted for the treatment of cancer."