Elgin parents accused of abuse lose custody of children after doctors misdiagnose infant

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ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) — Lorina and Jason Troy had a picture-perfect life. A good job, a beautiful home and two happy boys. But it was all taken from them after several doctors continually misdiagnosed their sick child.

Jason Jonathan Troy would ultimately be diagnosed with Benign External Hydracephalus of Infancy. Doctors initially thought the swelling in his head was due to repeated abuse. (Courtesy: Lorina Troy)

In May 2015, Lorina had just welcomed a new baby boy into the world. But when the child’s head kept growing, so did their concern. Appointments with medical specialists kept leading them to the same wrong answer.

Doctors accused the couple of child abuse, saying repeated shaking was the cause of the swelling.

“It was definitely a low blow being accused of something that you know you didn’t do,” said Jason Troy. “The hospital was telling me I had to pack all my stuff and I couldn’t be near my kids.”

The family questioned the doctor’s decision and pushed against the diagnosis.

“I told him, my son has never been hurt in any way, could this be anything else? And he told me, yes, but since he’s a baby and can’t talk, we are just going to go with abuse and walked away,” Lorina Troy said.

The two boys were taken from the couple and placed into foster care, which had an immediate impact on their well-being.

“My oldest son lost 20 pounds within six weeks of being taken from us and medical reports show that he showed signs of sadness and depression,” Lorina Troy said. “You’re so used to seeing your children everyday, and for them not to be there…. you see them smiling and laughing, and for them not to be there and you just hear silence, it’s just really devastating.”

The couple searched for a lawyer who would take the case. They were forced to sell their home to pay for attorney expenses. Jason was forced to leave his job.

During this time, Jason also faced two felony charges of child abuse, which carry a sentence between five and 99 years.

Jason Troy cradles his infant son, Jason Jonathan Troy. Troy faced felony child abuse charges which were later dismissed after his son was properly diagnosed. (Courtesy: Lorina Troy)

“There was some doubt. Like was there something I did?” Jason Troy remembers questioning himself. “Justice would prevail and the facts would come out.”

Finally, a medical expert in Maryland was able to diagnose the child properly. The son had benign external hydrocephalus, where spinal fluid builds up outside of the brain. This type of condition can affect people of all ages and a benign form takes longer to present itself.

With the new diagnosis, the charges were dropped and the parents were reunited with their children. But they feel the medical system has failed them.

“I have seen a lot of medical conditions that can easily be mistaken as child abuse when it isn’t,” said Lorina Troy. “The proper medical experts should be hired to correctly diagnose the children instead of assuming the worst and go that way because it drastically affects the families, especially the children.”

Jason Troy said they can no longer sue the doctor who misdiagnosed their child. They have been told the two-year statute of limitations has passed.

The Troy Family is now a family of five. Kainoa is nine, Jason Jonathan is four and daughter Kalea is three. (Courtesy: Lorina Troy)

Instead, the Troys are now using their unique story to raise awareness for others. Lorina has written a book: Miracles of Faith: Our Child Was Misdiagnosed It Greatly Affected Our Lives.

They’ve shared their story with the White House, Governor Greg Abbott and have met with legislators. The goal is to help create new laws that protect kids from being wrongfully removed from their parents and enacts new safeguards to prevent doctors from misdiagnosing their pediatric patients.

“There were times when the loss of our children, the unbelievable accusations against my husband and the feeling that we were powerless to right the wrongs – were overwhelming,” Lorina Troy said. “But, we went through the most challenging events of our lives and it has made us stronger. Now, we can take our terrible situation and what we have learned, and help others in similar situations.”

Tonight on KXAN News at 10, Alex Caprariello will introduce you to the Troy family and share their powerful story of defying medical orders to set the record straight and reunite with their children.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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