Thunderstorms rolling through metro

Mother separated from son fights claims that she exaggerated his medical problems

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KANSAS CITY,  Mo. -- A Kansas City teenager at the center of a hospital battle in Chicago will stay in protective custody.

That's the decision a Cook County judge made during a custody hearing in Illinois.

On Friday, July 4, 16-year old Isaiah Rider's mother spoke exclusively with FOX 4 about it all.

Michelle Rider has been fighting to regain custody of her son Isaiah since April when Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago got a temporary court order placing Isaiah in the state's care.

The hospital accuses Rider of exaggerating Isaiah's symptoms and interfering in her son's care.

"This is a day of freedom, a day of independence and my son is being held against his will, held hostage in the state of Illinois," Rider said.

As Rider sits in the backyard of her parents' Kansas City home, her 16-year old son Isaiah remains in foster care, a ward of the state of Illinois

"Since all this has happened we have missed Easter with Isaiah, we've missed Mother's Day and now the 4th of July," she said.

Three months ago Rider took Isaiah to Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago for surgery.

Isaiah suffers from a painful condition that causes tumors to grow on his nerves.

During and after the surgery, Rider says Isaiah developed tremors in what remains of the leg that was amputated two years ago and the same one doctors were working on in Chicago.

Rider took video.

"The inhumane suffering that Isaiah went through is unnecessary. The surgery itself was necessary, it was to remove tumors," she said.

The tremors Rider says are at the center of the custody battle.

Rider says the hospital claims they are from anxiety.

Rider maintains the pain is real.

"It was at that time that they started claiming medical abuse and this is after weeks, day in and day out," she said.

Wednesday, July 2, a judge heard from both the hospital and Rider. The judge sided with the hospital to keep Isaiah in state care.

"If you are not able to get justice in the court of the law then you have to go to the court of the public. I mean we don't know what else to do," she said.

The hospital says it cannot comment on the case because of patient privacy issues.

Another hearing on the case was scheduled for July 10th.

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3 comments

  • Nikkie

    I also have NF and so does my daughter. I can’t imagine being in Michelle’s position, trying to do what’s right for my daughter’s medical condition and being separated from her in this manner. My daughter had surgery to remove a large tumor in January, and I was by her side non stop. I wanted the best for her healing, and am certain Michelle is seeking the same for Isaiah