Miss Daisy came in to Care in early November. Her dad called 911 after he "tripped over something and dropped the baby". Daisy was rushed to the hospital and CPS got involved. She has been diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome.
My licensing agency initially placed Daisy with a brand new foster family. In fact, Daisy was their very first placement. I've been given limited details. Bottom line though, they were unable to meet all of Daisy's needs. Due to her injuries, Miss Daisy has a lot of medical appointments. Both the mom and dad in her first foster family work outside of the home. Miss Daisy was in day care and they had been relying on social workers at our agency to transport and handle many of the medical appointments instead of handling them themselves.
I haven't met her yet, but I've been told that Miss Daisy's lawyer is quite hands-on. It was the lawyer that demanded that Daisy be moved to a different foster family. Even though we had said yes to this transfer a few weeks ago, the actual call was a surprise to Mr. Amazing and I. Rainbow had indicated that the first foster family was doing better and we weren't going to be needed. However, I guess there was some sort of a court hearing and Daisy's lawyer demanded that Daisy be moved to a new home. She joined our family that very night.
So far Miss Daisy has been relatively easy to care for I guess. She has her moments - just like any baby. She doesn't sleep through the night. But that's normal for babies.
Due to her injuries, Daisy has two shunts in her brain. They have healed nicely but the bumps on her scalp draw a lot of curiosity. Daisy regressed horribly following her injury. According to Bio Mom and Dad, Daisy was crawling and pulling herself up prior to the shaking. Now, she can barely hold her head up. Daisy is also blind due to detached retinas in both eyes. Thankfully Daisy breathes on her own and is able to take a bottle (and even solids) without problems.
Now for the recent drama.
Following her initial hospitalization, Daisy was referred to a retina specialist to have surgery on both eyes. The surgery was to remove pooled blood and a membrane that is like thin scar tissue that had formed over each eye.
Policy in Texas states that a judge has to formally give permission for any procedure that requires general anesthesia. I do not know who dropped the ball. CPS? My agency? The first foster family? But when permission was granted for the surgery, they only had the judge sign paperwork for one of the eyes. Daisy had surgery on her right eye about two weeks ago. I was told when she came that "they" were simply waiting for appropriate paperwork from the retina specialist so they could get the judge to sign off on surgery for the left eye.
Well, I managed to get a follow-up scheduled for Daisy to see the retina specialist so they could examine her eye that had been repaired. (For reasons that I do not know, this follow-up appointment was not communicated to me at the time of placement. I had to call and schedule it myself.) After waiting a couple hours I finally got to see a doctor. I had to grip my hands tight and do everything I could to remain seated while they examined Daisy. It was beyond grueling. The screaming from Miss Daisy cut me to the bone. It was explained to me that they had to use a speculum to hold her eye open and then (after numbing drops were applied) use a wire to help examine the eye. The sounds of fear and anguish coming from Daisy were nearly impossible to listen to. I sat there and cried myself.
Then the doctor that examined her told me that he was not the one that had performed her first surgery. He told me that the eye that had been operated on looked good. He then said that the other eye had been healing nicely and most likely no longer "qualified" for surgery. This is problematic though. One eye is now clear and the other eye is cloudy. There is a chance that her brain could now shut off (for lack of a better explanation) communication to the bad eye. The doctor said he wanted the surgeon that worked on Daisy to examine her as well to see if he came to the same conclusion.
After a few minutes a VERY ANGRY doctor walked into the examination room. In no uncertain terms did he make it clear that someone had dropped the ball. These two surgeries were to have been performed 1-3 days apart from each other.
Paperwork - nothing but paperwork - has now caused Daisy to potentially lose sight permanently.
Again, I sat in the corner and cried while Doctor #2 examined Daisy's eyes. He said the same thing as Doctor #1. The eye that had been repaired looked very good. The second eye no longer "qualified" (???) for surgery. It's healing well. But it's not as clear as it should be.
So many people should have caught this. The first foster family should have known that the surgeries were to be done one right after the other (only days apart). The first foster family should have FOUGHT to get the judge to sign the appropriate paperwork. No one should have simply assumed that anyone else was taking care of this. All the people responsible for keeping Daisy safe failed.
Doctor #2 said that they will monitor Daisy closely. She may need a different surgery in the future.
So here's my note to new foster parents...
YOU HAVE TO ADVOCATE! You have to do things that don't seem like they are in your "job description". You cannot trust that CPS is doing it. You cannot trust that your licensing agency is doing it. You're going to have to beat down doors yourself. What happened to Daisy is inexcusable. Whoever it was that sat in the office when her first surgery was scheduled should have known that both surgeries needed to be scheduled right then and there. Then, if the paperwork from the judge wasn't right, that person needed to be calling anyone that breathes and knows about the case to get new paperwork signed.
Don't foster if you're not prepared to fight. Please. Just don't do it.
These kids need us in their corner ready to take on Goliath. And even though The System is supposed to be in that same corner, often times they aren't.
I covet your prayers for Daisy (and our family). She has a lot of healing to do and lots of specialists to see. I'm going to be busy spending a lot of time in waiting rooms over the next few months. Her retina doctor did say that the potential for permanent damage is now there because both eyes weren't operated on in a timely fashion. But he also said that there are too many variables at play and Daisy IS healing well. I pray that miracles happen for Miss Daisy. Thank you for your continued prayer.