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Lorina Troy was just announced as the winner of the Family Justice Resource Center's 2022 Child Advocacy of the Year Award for her nationwide efforts advocating for children and families who have been the victims of medical misdiagnosis and wrongful allegations of child abuse/neglect.
Read her story below:
Lorina Troy didn't know what was wrong with her son, JJ. As an infant, he suffered from frequent vomiting and his doctors and nurses all noted that his head size measured above normal before and after birth. Yet, they diagnosed with a simple stomach virus and sent the family home.
Months later, at five months old, JJ was still ill. His head continued to swell and an MRI showed excessive fluid inside his skull. Troy and her husband were told they'd have to speak to a child abuse pediatrician, Dr. Kelly Liker who diagnosed JJ as a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Based solely on this opinion, the children’s hospital reported JJ's parents for abuse and both he and his older brother were placed in foster care, where they bounced from home to home.
"We were told how our 5-month-old son cried all day in foster care. And our 4-year-old son lost 20 pounds within the span of six weeks," Troy said. "It took almost six months to get them back and on top of that, my husband was wrongfully charged with two felonies so he lost both his government and military security clearance– along with his job. We actually had to sell our home to pay for mounting legal fees."
Finally, it was determined that JJ had a birth injury and a medical condition called benign external hydrocephalus, which occurs when spinal fluid builds up outside of the brain, causing swelling.
Troy has since written a book about the experience to provide solace to other families and has joined forces with other falsely accused families to raise awareness about the prevalence (and devastating impact) of abuse misdiagnoses.
In 2021, her collaboration with legislators and testimony at the Texas Capitol played a key role in passing legislation that allows Texas parents to obtain a second opinion before their children are wrongfully removed from their care. And she doesn't plan to stop there. Her goal is to fight for a federal law so everyone across the nation can get a second opinion.
"Despite the extreme challenges of our circumstances, we had to stay strong and not give up," she said. "Now, we can take our terrible situation and what we have learned and we help others in similar situations. I hope that someday there can be a federal law that will allow parents a second opinion before a traumatic and wrongful removal. I hope and pray for changes."
Learn more about the Troy family and follow their journey on Facebook.
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