Season 4 Episode 6 : Crisis in Georgia – The Whiting-Clarke Story

Jack & Christy chat with Shelby, A mom in Georgia who has similar story of medical abuse of power. Shelby is one of dozens of moms in Georgia who had her child removed after a child abuse pediatrician declared a diagnosis of abuse, despite the child having diseases explaining the injuries.

The Whiting Family (Shelby and Damoni) was so excited to welcome a beautiful baby girl, Anariah, in February of 2023. The pregnancy has some concerns, like finding out that their daughter could be born with Alpha Thalassemia, since they were both carriers of it, and some concerns about the baby’s movement, growth, blood flow, and heart rate. But when Anariah was born, the doctors expressed no concerns and sent her home. Shelby was on maternity leave from Active Duty Navy and brought her daughter in to the doctor when she saw some dots near her eye. That is when a CPI case was initially opened when someone mistook it for a black eye, but was resolved when the CPI and the child’s pediatrician confirmed it was not a black eye but a big bite. Shortly after, Damoni heard a pop in an arm when changing a onesie. The child seemed fine so they kept an eye on it. A week later the child got fussy and was not able to use the arm the same so they went right into the doctor. This was the beginning of a horrible nightmare for the Whiting Family, which resulted in a trainee child abuse pediatrician (Dr Rebecca Rodriquez-Pou) at Wolfson’s hospital, declaring fractures and Anariah was removed from her parents at 9 weeks old and placed in a foster home.

Even after being in foster care the baby continues to make popping noises, according to her foster family. But the case managers and doctors have said Anariah does not need to get further scans and that popping is normal in young babies.

The Whiting Family has received their daughter’s medical records and hired doctors to evaluate their daughter to determine why these fractures may have happened. Anariah’s records show that she is diagnosed with Alpha Thalassemia (which can cause fractures when bone marrow expands inside the bone), and Hemoglobin Barts. The medical experts have diagnosed Anariah, based on her scans, with poor mineralization of bone which can also be a cause of fractures and indicate metabolic bone disease. Shelby has also found that she has had low vitamin D and even after being medicated with higher doses of vitamin D, a year later her vitamin D remains low. Her mother also has issues with vitamin D in her body, which implies a genetic cause. Low vitamin D can often indicate bone diseases that can result in fractures.

The single doctor (Dr Rodriguez-Pou**) who diagnosed child abuse has a license coded as a trainee doctor. The Whiting Family has hired a number of doctors with lots of experience who have confirmed that this was not a case of abuse.

Despite all of these diagnoses, Anariah remains in foster care, and her TPR trial is scheduled for May 14 of 2024. We need to raise our voices up for the Whiting Family and make sure DFCS knows that we are watching them. TPR would be a great injustice to this family and Anariah.

Looking into these Georgia Families, there are several similar cases where families are facing serious charges and the loss of their children, and Georgia DFCS is not doing the necessary investigations before determining that abuse is taking place.

To help the Whiting Clarke family and others affected in Georgia here are some things that you can do to make a difference:
* Please call Governor Kemp at (404) 656-1776 and ask him to meet with these families.
* Please call Senator Ossoff at (470) 786-7800 and ask him to meet with these families.
* Please donate if you are able to, in order to help the Whiting Family keep fighting!
* Follow Parents Behind the Pinwheels on Tiktok and share their videos
* Visit You are The Power to see more ways to help
* Share this podcast

** Of note is that Dr Rodriguez Pou works in the same facility as Dr Barbara Knox.