KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A teen battling a chronic disease and caught in a custody battle between his mother and the state of Illinois is back with his family.
"It's been a really stressful and depressing journey but now that I’m back with my family I feel better now," said Isaiah Rider.
The 17-year-old has spent the past five months in Chicago. Doctors at Luries Children's Hospital petitioned the state to take custody claiming medical abuse by his mother. His mother says the doctors wanted to keep Isaiah there to study his rare disease.
Isaiah has Neurofibromatosis, a painful condition that causes tumors to grow on the nerve endings.
After a leg amputation and years of trying to find treatment, his mother took him to the experts at Luries Children's Hospital in Chicago for surgery. It was successful, she says, but Isaiah developed complications, and the hospital could not control his pain. Michelle says she asked for Isaiah to be transferred to another hospital, and that's when the trouble started.
"They lied and said a lot of hurtful things about my mom," insisted Isaiah.
Instead of transferring Isaiah to another hospital, doctors petitioned for the state to take custody, claiming medial abuse. Something Isaiah denies.
"Never; she was always trying to help me since I was six-years-old. Since this started happening," he said.
FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien met Isaiah at the airport as he arrived in Kansas City for the first time in five months.
"Great, I'm very excited, and a lot to do," said Isaiah when asked how he felt about being home.
And what are the first items on Isaiah's to-do list? Getting back to school with his friends and getting his driving permit. Although Isaiah says he has lost trust in some doctors, he wants to go into medicine when he grows up.
"I want to mostly help kids and Army vets. Help them learn how to use their prosthetics," he said.
It's something he has been practicing since he left the hospital. Isaiah says has taught himself to run on his prosthetic leg. It's something he says he hasn't done since he was six years old.
"Soon I want to get my own running legs, so I can be in track because I could be really fast," he said.
Although Isaiah is back in Kansas City, he is still a ward of the state of Illinois. He is in the custody of his grandparents until the conclusion of his mother, Michelle Rider's, medical abuse trial, which starts on Friday in Chicago.