Disabled MB mother fights to see children in L.A.
Fri, 23 Apr 2010 03:58:25 GMT —
Just this week, a judge in Los Angeles ruled a Myrtle Beach woman's parents can pursue visitation rights on her behalf for her to see her young triplets.
Her ex-husband has been denying her those rights for nearly two and a half years due to her disability.
Dan Dorn is seeking child support from his ex-wife, although their triplets have already received a settlement for an undisclosed amount.
In 2002, Abbie Cohen and Dan Dorn married. Soon after, Abbie and Dan's family began to grow.
In 2006, Abbie gave birth to triplets in Los Angeles. Childbirth is a moment when a person's life changes forever, and Abbie's certainly did. But not the way she intended.
During delivery, two newborns came out as planned, but Abbie was having trouble delivering the third. Her mother, Susan Cohen, says a caesarean section was considered by the medical staff.
"Abbie was in terrible pain," Susan recalls, "and the baby wasn't coming out, but (the doctor) said, 'No, I can get the baby,' and he used high forceps, and he used suction cups, and he finally got her out, but he lacerated her uterus."
That wasn't discovered until the next day, when Abbie was found unresponsive. She had no heartbeat for nearly 20 minutes, her mother said.
She was finally revived, but the ordeal left Abbie with brain damage - something Susan says Dan could not handle.
"By six months, I knew he was going to leave her... he just couldn't take it," said Susan.
What's more, Dan felt the triplets couldn't handle seeing their mother in that condition.
Susan said, "He hasn't allowed her to see the children... He said it was too much trouble for him to bring them up, that it wasn't good for the children."
This has all led to a court battle as Dan claims that Abbie is in a vegetative state.
"I know that she understands," stresses Susan. "She's definitely not in a vegetative state, and the fact that she can run program, a neuro-feedback program with her brain. That tells you that things are going on in there."
Abbie's days are filled with therapy sessions at her parents home in North Myrtle Beach, from charting brain activity and acupuncture, to physical and even musical therapy - helping with her movements.
"I've seen her respond. She responds with her eyes, a long blink is yes, and she responds not only with a yes, but also looking at me and by turning her head to that direction," describes Jennifer Klich, with Zen Jen Acupuncture, one of Abbie's therapists.
"She is becoming much more attentive. She does respond to me with blinks. She does say yes at least three or four times a day," added Susan.
While progress has been made, something remains missing.
"The most important thing is having Abbie see her children and having the children know that they have a mother and that they weren't abandoned," said Susan. "It would mean a great deal for Abbie."
While allowing the custody issue to move forward, the judge in Los Angeles also ordered neurological testing for Abbie.
The trial on support, custody, visitation and other issues is scheduled for May 13th in Los Angeles.
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