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Dear Dr Cannell: False allegations

Posted on: June 16, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


Dear Dr. Cannell:

I saw your post on Facebook looking for people who are accused, falsely, of abuse.

On March 27, 2012, our 5-month-old baby girl was discovered to have swelling in her neck. We took her to the ER at a local university hospital, as advised by our pediatrician. They discovered multiple fractures in various stages of healing. No other external bruises or internal trauma was discovered.

Several days after removing all 3 of our children from our custody it was discovered our baby has severe vitamin D deficiency. (25OH Vit D, Total <6.0 ng/ml) We still do not have our children back, a criminal investigation is ongoing although we have not been charged with anything yet.

We are a Christian family with a very strong support group. We would never abuse our children. My mother has been given custody of our two boys while our daughter remains in a medically fragile condition in foster care. Our church, our families, and our mom’s club are all in support of the return of our children. The very idea that we would beat our children is crazy, this is a nightmare.

I have hired a private attorney to help get our children back.

The doctors have provided no diagnosis.

Please contact me if you have advice or feel we could be useful to call awareness to the vitamin D situation.


Mary, New York

Dear Mary:

I’m so sorry.

First, under a separate email I am sending you the contact for the best expert witness in these cases, a radiologist.

Second, with your permission, I will forward the letter on to Jenny Hill at the BBC. She promised me she would do a story on this issue and your case, with an undetectable vitamin D level in your infant, is about as persuasive as they get.

If readers want to help, they could email Jenny Hill ([email protected]) and ask her to do a story on these cases. Another English newspaper did do a story, but in that case, a child in the family had to die before the pathologist (not the radiologist) found the rickets.

Taylor D. Parents reunited with baby after court rules fractures were caused by rickets. The Guardian, Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

Third, call me if you have questions.

As your baby had undetectable vitamin D levels (<6 ng/ml), I would think the doctors would have confirmed the diagnosis of rickets, not only on X-ray, but with a blood test called a fractionated alkaline phosphatase, which is sky high in rickets. Did they do one? It is possible they didn’t do one on purpose, having already arrived at their abuse conclusion and not wanting any more evidence they are wrong.

Is there a man involved? Usually, the DA offers the wife her child back if the husband will plead guilty to abuse and go to prison. With a vitamin D level of <6 ng/ml, which means undetectable and will always cause rickets, you have a great case. However, many husbands take the deal, as they love their family and want it as back together as it can be. It is close to the ultimate sacrifice.

1 Response to Dear Dr Cannell: False allegations

  1. autumnsmom

    This is such a crime that is happening to innocent families all over the globe. Due to my own personal situation and my family going through this exact same situation for over two years now, I created an informational page on Facebook to bring awareness to this horrific epidemic.

    The Facebook page is called Rickets an Epidemic: please join the page and share it with everyone that you know.. This information and these cases need to go viral to stop this from happening to other innocent families.


    I also started a petition to mandate diagnostic differential testing when child abuse is suspected, please sign and share this as well.


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