Time.com has a heartbreaking story about a mother who was left brain damaged after giving birth to triplets in 2006. Abbie Dorn, a 34-year-old paraplegic, has been blocked from seeing her kids because her ex-husband thinks the kids could be traumatized by seeing her.
Dorn cannot do much physically. She can blink yes or no to questions. She can hear sounds and see things. She can smile. Last week a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that Dorn’s kids can visit her for five consecutive days each year. Dorn lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Her husband divorced her after the brain damage.
“The court finds that even though [Dorn] cannot interact with the children, the children can interact with [Dorn] — and that the interaction is beneficial for the children,” wrote Judge Frederick Shaller. “They can touch uch her, see her, bond with her, and can carry those memories with them.”…
“The judge also ordered monthly Skype visits for Dorn and the kids and required Dan Dorn, who didn’t even tell the children about their mother until recently, to essentially create a shrine in his home in her honor, setting aside a space for photographs and memorabilia that is “open and available to the children 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.” …
“Is there ever a case in which a mother shouldn’t be allowed to see her children? Perhaps in the case of severe mental illness that could erupt into violence, a no-visitation policy might be in order. But even in a situation of extreme disfigurement, Caplan says the mother-child bond is sacred. “It might be disturbing, but that tie is so strong that you have to do what you can to maintain it,” he says. “Even in people who are adopted, the drive to know their biological parent is enormous. We are in a culture that values that.”
Oh my gosh I just can’t even imagine there are so many awful things in this story. First off this poor woman was brain damaged during childbirth. What a terrible tragedy. I am sure she was anticipating holding her new babies and caring for them and then she was left paralyzed!
Secondly I can’t imagine not seeing or being with your kids. I am sure she wants to see them and hear them and just observe them. They can lay their little heads against her or touch her hand. They can smile at her and laugh and she can see and hear these things.
I think had the kids been seeing their mom all along (the story says the father didn’t even tell the kids they had a mother) they wouldn’t think much about her condition. That would just be the way mom is. I am sure five years later not even knowing you have a mom, it will be shocking to see her as a paraplegic.
So what do you think: Is there a case or condition (obviously child abuse) where parents should be kept from their kids? What about disabilities?
Do you think if the kids had been seeing their mother all along they would be less affected by her condition and just think that’s how mom is?
What do you think of the dad not telling the kids they even had a mom?
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania