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July 8th, 2010
04:27 PM ET

Visiting brain-damaged mom, a collision of instincts

I am not sure which instinct took over first. When I heard the story of Abbie Dorn, I remember listening with my "head" as a neurosurgeon, and also listening with my "heart" - as a dad. Like you probably will, I thought of Abbie's three children. I have three of my own.

Abbie was young, recently married, and wanting to start a family. It did not happen easily. She underwent IVF, and was finally told she was pregnant. Triplets. It was the most exciting day of her life.  Abbie's mother told me all of this, because Abbie cannot. You see, something went terribly wrong during the delivery. There was bleeding, more than two liters. Abbie's heart failed, and for too long her brain went without oxygenated blood.

Abbie survived, but she was left in a state where she can barely move, cannot speak and only blinks her eyes.  As you will see as I examine Abbie,  it is this blinking that is now at the heart of a bitter legal controversy.

Abbie's parents, her therapist and her lawyer believe she is communicating through those blinks. They believe she is letting them know: "I want to see my children." Her husband, who has since divorced her, thinks otherwise. He thinks that there is no way she could be communicating, and that it would be damaging for the children to see their mother in this condition. He worries the triplets, who are now 4 years old, might one day blame themselves for what happened to her, at the time of their birth.

There are gray areas of medicine, and that is especially true  when it comes to the brain. Doctors don't agree on Abbie's condition. And, now to try and settle this, medicine and the legal system will collide.

Of course, when sitting back and thinking about this whole situation, my dad instinct took over once again. I wondered if the focus regarding Abbie was misplaced. Regardless of her condition or her ability to communicate or interact, do her children have a right to see their mother? And, does Abbie have a right to be with her children? There are no easy answers, but I am eager to hear what you have to say.

Program Note: See Dr. Sanjay Gupta's full report on Abbie Dorn tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.


soundoff (682 Responses)
  1. Cricket

    What a heartbreaking story. I think the children should be able to see their mother. They have a right to love her as she is. I doubt they will be scared if they are properly prepared, and they can grow up "used to" her state and still love her and have a relationship with her. And if she is conscious on any level, she will benefit, too. So it seems cruel to deny them all whatever relationship they might have.

    July 8, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa Allan

      Double ditto to Cricket's reply.

      July 8, 2010 at 17:42 | Report abuse |
    • Judy

      Like Dr. Gupta, I also wear two hats: that of a physician and that of a mother. As a mother, even if there were the remotest possibility that I had any cognition, I would want to be given the benefit of the doubt and have access to my children. These children need to know the truth about their mother's being alive, and have the opportunity to bond with her, at some level. At this early age, they do not need to know that their birth was the cause of her condition. That needs to be reserved for a time when they are old enough to understand that they bear no guilt.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      As the mother of five children I think she should be able to see her children. I also believe the children be told about their mom's condition and be allowed to go visit her as long as they wish.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • Sandi

      Childlren are very resilient – if you just say Mommy is sick – lets visit her – they just accept it. Every mother has a right to see her children – and she is the one suffering – how any parent can deny the other is absolutely heartbreaking and unacceptable. Who are we to judge or make comments? The husband should never even have questioned it – this is their mother – who basically lost her way of life giving birth. What the hell are people thinking? She absolutely should see those children – that is life and kids don't have an issue with it – they accept things for what they are.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
    • AM

      I agree. Plus, kids are so accepting. I think that they will be much better off growing up around her than they would be if they were introduced to her at a much older age.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Monika

      Ditto Cricket. Those kids deserve to know their mom and how wonderful she is. They should be able to see the woman that gave them life and loves them SO much!! No matter how she ended up this way, I am sure if she could tell them, she would do it again in a heartbeat for them. This father is making a huge mistake!!

      July 8, 2010 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      Dr. Grupta: Abbie has the right not be kept away from her kid in Mother's world your children are your children this is the most silly thing i have heard.. so if you are deaf, blind, retard you keep your childrens away? we are not perfect and things happen for a reason they need to see MOM however she is this is wrong to keep them away. We keep bad thing from all of us when are we going to growup and see that this is life and that we dont live in a Disney world. how about the half body lady she had her baby and she is happy and her husband thats real love.Her husband is a idiot should be ashame should of never walk away this is love what she done becoming a mom and his wife. i can imagine how she must feel to learn that he is not there to help her and have faith he should be the one not to see the children. he is the bad parent. also there is prayer Mr. and prayer bring miracles. p.s. in poornest, sickness, deathness Mr.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Victoria

      I completely agree. She is a part of their identities, whether she is able to communicate or not. It will be more damaging for them to not see her than to see her in this state. Yes, it is scary, especially for young children, who perceive anything that is out of norm as scary. But they need to go through this. The father needs to undestand that the children will be very angry with him when they become adults and when they understand what he has done. There will be no good reasonable explanation that he will be able to give them to excuse keeping them from their mother. Especially, if she is, although in her own imperfect way, able to communicate. What he is doing is very selfish, and this is his way of having some control in this chaos.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • DavidO

      I Agree with you Cricket. Also, did anyone mention the fact that the "ex-Husband" is saying this? How could her husband divorce her after going through such a terrible thing? I thought it is "till death do us part?".. What a jerk to just leave her there to rot! Just my opinion..

      July 8, 2010 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • bubbles

      Perfectly said.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Very well said cricket, I agree.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Very well said Cricket, I agree with you.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
    • S.L..

      My mother suffered a brain injury when I was 19yrs old. (some 25 yrs ago) Since then I have married and had children. They have never known their grandma any other way. When I have commented on wishing that they could have known her when she was "normal" they simply say she is normal. They find her differences endearing I am very proud of raising two children who can look at a disabled person's differences. If only everyone was so caring. The children in this article are missing out on a wonderful, positive experience with their mother.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      Children see as normal what they are told is normal. It is the adults in their lives that cause them to abhor or fear what they don't understand. These children could visit their mother without the trauma of being told she is their mother. Whomever is fulfilling that role for them is, in their mind, their mother. That should not be taken from them. But they should visit their biological mother – perhaps with her parents, and learn to accept her as their daughter first – when they are older they will ask the questions that will give them the answers as they are ready fro them. It is a shame they haven't had continual contact.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Cricket, I agree. The children should have the right to see their mother. Just becaue the father is disturbed enough by her condition that he divorced her doesn't mean the children will be. She's their mom, not the person the father later married. What if she was a paraplegic? What if she had a heart attack and was unable to communicate with them? Should they be allowed to see her and vice versa? At their age, they would simply think "this is the way mommy is" and that would be okay with them. That's the way kids are, not judgemental and focused on appearance like we as adults tend to be.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Why is it a question of the children causing their mother's condition? They should be told when they are older that something went wrong after they were born not because they were born. Right now all they need to hear is that their mother wanted them very much and loves them. I agree with rose that the father should be ashamed to do this to his former wife and his children.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • D Walters

      My heart breaks for this family. It is an outrage that this father has kept the children away from their mother. She sacrificed everything for those three babies and she deserves to have them in her life. The children will love her and will want to know her, regardless of her condition. Families are not always perfect, but you have to make the best of whatever situation you are given. God Bless this family and they should be in all of our prayers.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • leasa

      It truly is a heart breaking story. And I think her kids need to be told that there mother wanted them so much & loves them so. There is no reason for those children to think it is their fault. They are too young to even understand. But they do have a right to meet her & she has a right to see them.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      Isn't this the society that does everything possible to reunite families? Even when mothers neglect, abuse or abandon their children, they are given the opportunity to reunite. Yet this case presents children kept from their mother because she is disabled. She did nothing to harm her children and now it is questioned whether she should be allowed to see them in whatever "state" she is in neurologically. You can also put this in another point of view. Dont even consider the mother. Dont the children have a right to see their mother? Where are their rights? Something is seriously wrong in this country.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • Kaylan

      I was very upset when I first heard this story in the news. I can't imagine why anyone would deny this disabled woman a chance to be with her children! She sacrificed her very body, in a way, to deliver those babies and she has every right in the world to see them and love them. The children, also, have a RIGHT to know the truth about their mother. I think it is a CRIME that they were denied seeing their mother from the very beginning and it was a CRIME to deny the mother the right to be near her babies. I hope she gets to see her children. What the father is doing is wrong!

      July 8, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • Kaylan

      I also wish to add that children at a young age often have the biggest hearts. The dad thinks the children will not understand (or so goes his excuse) but children are usually the ones that will go over to the "odd" kid at school and befriend them. They see passed the physical body and can look into the soul, so to speak. This poor mother was denied so much.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      I don't see why there is such a struggle here. While the situation is sad and difficult, that mom is the reason those girls have their lives. She deserves the respect and opportunity to have some involvement and the girls deserve to have their mom, even in this condition. I am a mom (8 kids) and a grandma. If any of the children were incapacitated, the parents would integrate the other children and themselves with that child; it should be no different for the parents. We do our children a disservice when we treat them like fragile china. My children have actually been examples to me many times on how to deal with people in wheelchairs, the elderly, the disadvantaged because children don't have the prejudices, biases, and hangups we have as adults. Maybe it will be hard at first for the children to be around their mom; teach them to bless her by their actions and presence. If they have guilt, teach them the difference between justified guilt and false guilt. These are valuable lessons for all of life. Most of all teach them how to love their mom so they can grow up knowing that no matter what happens in life a person has value and purpose and they should be treated with dignity. Their mom will then have taught them (with the assistance of others) some of the most valuable lessons they can ever learn in their lives.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:58 | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      Cricket, I couldn't agree more with you. Very well said.

      July 8, 2010 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • shelli

      it jsut seems to me that the husband washed his hands of her completely and moved on and thus wants his life and children to move on too. only problem is Mom is still alive. Those kids need to see their mother, and she needs to see them too. As long as she is alive she has that right, and he should uphold it.

      July 8, 2010 at 20:39 | Report abuse |
    • candace siderides

      yes they should see their mother and they should be told that she loves them at all costs to herself...that bringing them into the world was her hearts wish..nothing was more important to her than their births...I know I was fortunate and in all 4 births nothing ever happened to me but I always told the doctors that the childs life was the most important thing...and these children need to know how very much their mother loves them

      July 8, 2010 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
    • Sandy L

      Her ex-husband doesn't have a heart. He is cruel. It doesn't seem he ever really loved the poor woman. How do you throw away the woman that bore your three children? I understand you have to go on with your life, but do you make believe she doesn't exist?

      July 8, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • Katie S.

      I completely agree with you Cricket...I am not a mother, but know that I would be heartbroken if I couldn't see my children. It wouldn't matter what condition a person is in, a mother knows her children and always has them on her mind. Seeing them might allow her to heal internally! A visitation would allow peace to come over the situation. She's gone through so much for them to have a healthy and full life, only to be in a disable state of her own. I literally gasped during parts of this article. We can only pray that she may see her children and that there is a possibility for her to communicate in due time. Even blinking can symbolize love.

      July 8, 2010 at 21:08 | Report abuse |
    • Ina Maria

      Cricket is right! Yes, not only they be allowed to see her, but they should see her, as she is. Almost without exception, parents of babies with birth defects love their babies as they are, take care of the babies through out their lives. It is the mother-children relationship, by birth. Why would Abbie's ex-husband and those doctors think that the children would be traumatized? Perhaps the children would be so moved by the experience that they would pledge to take care of Abbie for the rest of her life. To give Abbie what she deserves for the least: LOVE from her children.

      July 8, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Children, especially young children, can accept things much better than we adults could ever imagine. She should absolutely see her children and her children should have the opportunity to see their mother on a regular basis for as long as her health holds up.

      July 8, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
    • McBride Ryan

      Absolutely Cricket. What a great response.

      July 8, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      If the debate centers around the anticipation of the children one day blaming themselves for their mother's disability, has anyone considered the likely more detrimental outcome of not having had a relationship with their mother due to a disability? What kind of reasoning is this? This is to suggest that we can only maintain relationships with our loved ones if there exists no loss, disability, and self blame... things we all deal with and that are relatively normal developmental challenges. As for the mother, it is not always clear, even with advanced medicine, to discern consciousness after severe brain damage, so to make the assumption that the mother essentially died on the table is not a justification for taking a mother, however disabled or incommunicable, from her children.

      July 8, 2010 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
    • red

      Why we should even considering this? The only reason that she is not with her children is because her husband does not want to deal with her care.
      I went to family court and even that I had an order of protection and he was abusive with us, they said that he had the right to see his daughter and she had the right to know her father, good or bad.... Abbie did nothing wrong to her children, she loves them with all her heart.... children don't think like us, they love unconditionally and don't care if we are perfect or not.....
      And what happened to their right of knowing who their mother is?????? and how much she loves them???

      July 8, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      This story was on cnn a number of weeks ago – this "father" even had the nerve to sue his ex-wife for child support from her legal settlement.

      July 8, 2010 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
    • cleverlee

      Triple ditto to Cricket. This Jewish father shoudl ask himself...WWJD??? What would Jesus Do?

      July 8, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
    • Andi

      She ABSOLUTELY has the right to see her children and they ABSOLUTELY have the right to see her. How will they feel when they are older and she is gone when they find out they had a chance to spend time with the person who gave her life for them and they were denied that chance. Her EX husband is being extremely selfish. He needs to put himself in her place, after all it could happen to anyone at anytime. Let them know their mother........she made the ultimate sacrifice.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
    • blessed mommy

      I am absolutely shocked !!! This is their MOTHER, nobody has the right stop the children from seeing their mother!! Even children given for adoption when they are born, later on in their adult life go in search of their birth mother, just to get closure, and sometimes even forgive and reunite. This man has no right to take away the children's mother from her. What if he was in her shoes, brain damaged and in a vegetative state...the first time i read this article i cud'nt control my tears, becoz i am too a mother, n cannot even imagine this happening to me...In my opinion i feel the husband is just making an excuse by putting the kids psycological effect inbetween...infact i think this heartless man (who calls himself a dad), just does'nt want to do anything anymore with his ex-wife n wants to completely cut all relationship with the family and start fresh. I hope and pray that this beautiful mother is re-united with her lovely kids and she has a miraculous recovery.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:38 | Report abuse |
    • Julie T

      "Preparation" as you said is key... as well as continuous dialog with the children. Their father seems unwilling to do this and that is a sad but unfortunately not so unusual in our society. Maybe a compromise would be pictures and letters? The children are resilient and may be able to wait until later to meet their mother but as a mom who has sacrificed her life for them, she could really benefit from watching them grow into wonderful people.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
    • Simon

      Is there mom alive? I think that is the question. I don't know the whole story, but it looks like at the very least machines are feeding her. Is someone that can't think, react, or move on their own accord alive? I know these are hard questions, but it seems people are avoiding them. I think the kids should see their mom. I know it may sound harsh to say, but I don't think her mind will see them. I know it is very hard on the parents to accept, but it is expected from her parents.

      I too had to make a hard decision for my family. My mother had a heart attack while in a hospital and was rendered brain dead and in a coma after being revived 10 minutes later. My family could not decide what to do. Her siblings could not accept that she was gone even though she was still breathing. Her eyes would not even respond to light. We asked the doctor several times for additional tests. After a week we asked the doctor what he would do and he said he would have ended her "life" the next day that it happened. I had spoken to my mother about the Terry Shiavo (sp?) story and how she would feel if that happened to her. Even though she told me she would not want to live that way, I still find it hard of the decision that we had to make. In the end I was the one that recommended we let her go. She was beyond Terry Shiavo and Abbie Dorn in terms of brain damage.

      People close to you will not accept the truth sometimes. I am glad, that at least her church leader also recommended we discountinue life support. People cannot let go and I still find it very hard 5 years later. I know the this may sound harsh, but I must say that the parents do not appear to accept reality. It appears that even Dr Gupta is afraid to confirm this as it would hurt the parents too much.

      I emplore everyone to discuss this with your family before it happens to you.

      July 9, 2010 at 00:50 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Make no mistake; those children will resent whoever held them back from seeing their mother. When they get older and all the circumstances unfold, it is n't going to be pretty. This smacks of the Terry Shivo case where the husband was thinking of what he wanted. As for Dr. Gupta, I am disappointed in that there are enough situations through medical history in which COMOTOSE individuals in worse shape then this woman recovered. There is almost a matter of fact cavalier surrender from doctors when they see people who are ill that it makes me wonder why on earth they got in the profession in the first place. I'm not just referring to this gentle PC dance Dr. Gupta just wrote, but that they are considering giving up on a woman who isn't brain dead. This is a trend that is extremely disturbing and should not be stood for. Women carried every last person on earth; no one got here without being carried by one. They need to show this woman the respect she deserves and let her see her children.

      July 9, 2010 at 01:07 | Report abuse |
    • skyhighgardhigh

      Just let them damn kids see they mother!

      July 9, 2010 at 02:53 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Unless the father is complicit and frames the visitation experience for the kids, then it could indeed be negative. In my view, it's the father who blames the kids for their mother's condition, and he's taking it out on everyone.

      July 9, 2010 at 03:05 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Well said Cricket! I know my reply is in a sea of similar messages. There may not be much any of us can do about this, but send Abbie our love and prayers. Unless her parents and lawyer petition for her to have joint custody (via Abbie's parents having the kids for a weekend and taking them to see their mom). I can't understand how a court could have awarded sole custody to the husband without some stipulation of visitation; at best to the grandparents. But the doctors taking care of Abbie had to have communicated something to the court that led them to discount her rights as a living person. Believe me, this guy doesn't need any of our shame. He's done a perfect job on his own. Sometimes turning away from a person who is so gross is the best course. Let's keep our hearts uplifted for Abbie.

      July 9, 2010 at 03:13 | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      The girls should visit their mother once or twice to say thank you for her ultimate sacrifice and then good bye. After that the entire family should begin to grieve together and accept that she is gone. That's what I would do as a parent- those are my two cents. However I will comment on the disgusting behavior of the grandparents. Your time and money would be better spent on your grandchildren where you could easily keep the memory of your daughter alive and well. Your relationship with them is now permanently damaged and they are the last link to your daughter. Everyone grieves differently you have chosen hope and hang on every blink, which is perfectly acceptable, whereas her husband has chosen to grieve and move on. I think everyone keeps forgetting that this man lost his wife, who he loved, and the mother of his children. He should not be scapegoated- instead EVERYONE should respect his decision, his private parenting decision. Whether we like it or not. It is none of our business even the grandparents.

      July 9, 2010 at 05:18 | Report abuse |
    • Penny O

      One simple answer YES.

      My stepson's mother is brain damaged as a result of a severe gunshot wound to her head. The injury occurred when an estranged brother in law shot her during an argument. Although this woman is now in a semi coma, with feeding tube, respirator and cannot walk, speak, breathe or talk on her own, we encourage my stepson to see her. She is his mother, and she will be his mother for as long as she lives.

      July 9, 2010 at 05:53 | Report abuse |
    • nurse

      I think those children and mother have a right to have a relationship. The mother is in this state from having those babies, being able to see them would be therapeutic for her. Those children may grow up to resent their father for not letting them visit with her. This is such a sad situation, it breaks my heart for both mother and children.

      July 9, 2010 at 07:13 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      not only should she get to see her kids she should not have waited 4 years to do so. kids are very understanding and we be use to seeing mommy like that if they grew up seeing it. for someone to want kids her whole life and have this happen during child birth, then not let to see the kids is just cruel. give her the benefit of the doubt, it is not going to hurt anyone and i doubt the kids would ever blame themselves for this

      July 9, 2010 at 07:29 | Report abuse |
    • Carmen

      I cannot believe that anyone would think that this "situation" could be harmful to these children. And I am POSITIVE that no matter what state she is in, she would benefit from time with her children. A mother knows the presence of her children. Those kids have rights, and it doesn't seem as if their father is whole heartedly considering them.

      July 9, 2010 at 07:41 | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      Agree! also if the father did try to sue for child support from the mother, why would he not want the children to see their Mom. Either way the children should be seeing their mother. It is not his right to deny this to the children. She has done no harm to those children but gave them life.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
    • JJohnson

      This should have been a non-issue. If the children had gone at least once a week to visit their mother from the time they were born, there would be NO TRAUMA to them - that would just be "the way mama is." The longer the dad puts it off, the more traumatic it will be.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:17 | Report abuse |
    • Ballz

      One possible answer to the questions of why he divorced her is because of cost. It doesnt mean he doesnt love her any less, but it protects him against unglodly hospital bills that nobody could ever hope to be able to pay. Im sure the decision didnt come easily. I understand that some folks say "til death do us part", but if you were in that situation, you may think out of the box a bit. Think about the father not having a dime to spend on his kids because of the hospital bills that will never stop being racked up. Some knee-jerk responses should be better thought out.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
    • hadijah

      I think the dad is being quite selfish thinking of only himself. His fears are what is stopping him from letting his children see their mother. These kids, just like he predicts will still blame themselves of her condition even worse if they ever find out that he stopped them from seeing the woman who carried them...and they will. It is their right and hers as well to see each other. He needs professional help to conclude because just like he divorced her, he's only thinking of himself.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:25 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      I think mom has a right to her children and her children a right to her. This isn't a case about abuse or neglect. It is an unfortunate circumstance that one day the children will have to face. They will know the truth and as painful as it is... imagine how much more painful it wil be when the find out that she has past and not once were they able to see her to say the simpliest thing like hello or give a healing hug.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      My husband was in a similar PVS (persistent vegetative state) for five years before he died. We had two small children at the time, a three year old and a six year old. I kept the kids away from the hospitals when daddy was hooked up to all the machines, but after that, when he was in the nursing home, I took them to visit him regularly. In making this decision, considered myself, him (my husband) and our children. I don't know how he felt about having them near him occasionally because I was never sure how much he knew – he could blink too, and no doctor could tell me if those blinks had meaning. Some said it was just involuntary movements, but others, those who wanted to be helpful and hopeful, suggested that there might be more to it. The most tragic figure here, of course, was my husband. I was devistated too, of course, but thought very little of myself during this stage of my life. I was worried for my children. and for them, seeing their father that way was not traumatic. They accepted their father's condition because the adults around them could handle it as a fact of life. We all loved their father and wanted to ease his suffering. The children are resillient and can learn from any situation. I was more worried about what they would think when they got older, that they would feel angry, if I had sheilded them from their father's condition. I am glad now that allowed them to "know" each other. My children are teenagers now, and they are both quite compassionate people. I think spending so much time visiting nursing homes, and tending to family that made them care a bit more for others.

      The father of the triplets seems to want to escape this situation himself. Really, he is only thinking of himself here, and he will pay dearly for this decision. He needs to accept the reality of the facts– that their mother is still alive and has a right to see her children, and they ahve the right to see her. It will not damage them to know of their mother's existence, or even to interact with her. Children are wonderful accepting beings; it's the adults who develop intolerance, from ignorance. He shouldn't be keeping these children in ignorance. His children will find out about their mother eventually, then daddy will have to explain a whole lot to them.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      The hubby sounds like quite a guy. Divorcing his wife when she needed him most. Pretty selfish obviously, and I wouldn't be surpsied if he's more concerned about how his kids' responses will affect him and his lifestyle than with their emotional needs. Terrible. The kids deserve to meet their mother, but if his actions speak to his character I doubt you could convince him it's the right thing to do. An upstanding husband would still be married to her and caring for her. That's the deal in marriage – good times and bad. To say it's necessary for the kids' wellbeing is unrealistic. What happens when they learn the truth when they're older? Resentment. Or does he actually think he can maintain that secret for the next few decades? Life can be tragic and you can't sanitize all things in the name of protecting kids. The only one protected in this scenario is the selfish dad.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:46 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      No, what's cruel is keeping this woman alive. Who are we doing it for? Her, or ourselves?

      This woman can't care for herself in ANY regard; none, zero, ziltch. If a horse breaks a leg, it's put down and called humane. Yet when people enter vegatative states, or even those with severely limited mental capacity, they are kept (in many cases forced) alive... but for who's good? Are we doing it for them, or because we don't want to have to make those decisions and be forced to deal with the grief of someone we love passing on?

      This is something that really needs to be thought about... when keeping people alive is more cruel than letting them pass and ending the misery of their limited existence.

      This doesn't even consider a Darwinistic view of survival of the fittest, nor going back to the basics of the survival and strengthening of the species.

      July 9, 2010 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • Kristine

      I also agree with Cricket. We "protect" our children too much sometimes. Almost 3 years ago, my son saw his grandmother (She was his primary caregiver at the time. More "Mom' than I was able to be due to work) in the hospital the day before she died unexpectedly. He was happy to see her, even with the machines. She was obviously glad to see him. He gave her a valentine he made a day early for her. They both got to feel and see the love one last time. We expected her to come home soon, but she died Valentines Day. While her death was traumatic, he was and still is glad he got to see her even in her debilitated state. He doesn't talk about the machines of her being sick. He remembers she was "Mom". Those children need to see their mom and she needs to see them...

      July 9, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • laura

      I agree with you, Cricket. If the children had been exposed to her right from the beginning, then they would grow up familiar with her condition and could learn about and process the information at their own pace. As it is now, due to the lack of exposure for many years, I believe that they will surely be traumatized when the meet her, having had no other exposure to her before now. I am an occupational therapist who works with individuals with brain injury and I've observed many family interactions. Children are amazingly accepting and loving, especially when provided with honest information in a compassionate environment. Abbie and her children both deserve to have a relationship with each other.

      July 9, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
    • A loving son

      The rationale that the "father" relies upon, in short, that he doesn't want the children to grow thinking they are responsible for their mom's condition is purely something that is taught to the children. It is akin to racism, children are taught to hate others based on their attributes, these children should be taught that their mother is the way she because that is the way it is, no child is responsible for that. If anything, they should be proud because their mother's body did what was necessary to keep the children alive, rather than causing any one of them harm. Although, I am a member of the clergy, I won't delve into the theological aspects, just taking the humanistic and scientific position, let the babies see their mother. Not doing so will cause more long term harm than knowing the person who gave birth to you.

      July 9, 2010 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
    • Sylvia

      This story is so very troubling. Whatever the mother's cognitive functioning may or may not be, she has a soul which
      remains inside her seemingly low functioning body. In her response to the photograph of Ruby, there's no doubt she
      wants to meet her children. She has every right to do so, and they need to connect with their mother. It is cruel and unjust
      to keep them apart. I can't help but feel that since the husband has divorced her, he is trying to terminate the children's
      relationship with her as well. How tragic and cruel. It's as if her husband has thrown her away. Hopefully the legal system
      will resolve this in favor of the mother's absolute rights.

      July 9, 2010 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Does anyone asked her if she wants to continue living like that?, as far as I know she's been feed by a tube in her stomach, without that she'll die. I can understand the pain of her parents but they maybe keeping her alive for them and not for her, all I know is that I wouldn't want to live in that condition and I would rather die.

      July 9, 2010 at 09:42 | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      The father not allowing the children to spend time with their Mother and getting to know her is just a lame excuse on his part. Yes, he has been the primary parent to three children, but that Mother deserves the right to know her children. Who knows what kind of things he has and will tell those children. His warped parenting will only inflict additional trauma into their lives. Only pray they make it through his "parenting and protecting".

      July 9, 2010 at 09:45 | Report abuse |
    • d3v

      I am a proud father of two and one lucky husband to have a wonderful wife, and have to say this if anything ever happened to my wife that left her with brain damage I would NEVER leave her no matter what and I would never deny my children being with her regardless. I feel really bad for this woman and her children and in my opinion sorry to see this guy making poor decisions.

      July 9, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah Farmer

      I agree, the children could learn to love their Mom the way she is. Let us hope that karma doesn't wreak havoc on the Father, or he will be one lonely old man.

      July 9, 2010 at 10:14 | Report abuse |
    • Daisy

      I agree with Cricket. It may not be a good comparative, but if the mother e.g, had two arms amputated or was blinded and deaf as a result of the births, would the father (who has remarried and obviously "moving on" with his life) also begrudge the children from seeing and knowing their mother, and vice versa? If the father could argue that the mother abused the children or intentionally wanted to harm her children, that would be another matter – but that is not the case here. It is a travesty that the father is denying his children and their mother the chance to bond in whatever way they can. And wouldn't it be a wonderful miracle if seeing and being with her children would prove to be the catalytic 'recovery medicine'. I have just said a prayer for the mother and her children – I hope you will too.

      July 9, 2010 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
    • Albina

      I think children should be abel to see their mom. To a child their parents mean a lot, She is their mom that's all that matters.
      I just wish world didn't had people like the Children's father,Who has no compassion for his wife.

      July 9, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Hi, I really have to agree that the mom deserves the right to have a relationship with her kids, no matter her physical state. I also agree that we under estimate what kids are able to understand and deal with. Saying that Mommy is sick really is enough. They should not be told until they are older how she got "sick". To the father: Daniel, kavod et avicha v'et imecha applies here (Honor your Mother and Father). You're a frum guy, you should know this. Your kids can handle this if you prepare them correctly. I also have three kids.

      July 9, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Theresa Stephens

      This woman's ex-husband must live without a conscious. They were in love, married, and decided to have children together. They did and a very unfortunate thing happened to this mother. How can a man who claims he loved someone enough to marry her, turn his back on her in a time of need. Nothing that happened to the woman was any fault of her own. If the father was any kind of decent man, his concern would lie in explaining this event to the children as they have questions and helping them deal with it, thus encouraging a relationship with the children. Does he think the kids will just grow up and forget??? He may think so right now, but believe me, it will come back in the end. Children never forget their parents, regardless of what happens. Children's love is unconditional, so wouldn't that be the most beneficial thing for this mother. If this father could teach these children now how to love anyone, regardless of their circumstances, wouldn't the world be a better place. People need to stop being so selfish and finding ways around modern inconveniences. This woman did nothing but give these children life, but can't be apart of it because of a birth injury??? What is this world coming to. Shame on him.

      July 9, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      How sad this story is. As a married mother of 3 and a nurse, I don't disagree or agree with the father. As a young parent, I can't say I would want to spend the rest of my life being married to someone with a brain injury, but that is not to say that I wouldnt still love our past. When the traditional "vows" were wrote, anyone with this type of injury would have died and not been kept alive by feeding tubes. I can't fault him for moving on and living. I think the thing people are missing is that he is the legal guardian and is responisble financially and emotionally for their upbringing. He allows full access to the grandparents to come and visit. If he feels the children seeing there mom is best when they are older, then he should have that right. Sadly, mom can't make decisions at this point. I think we have to remember dads have rights. I feel so sorry for the mom, and hope someday when the kids are old enough, they can see there mother. I have seen many families in the hospital setting and nursing home setting, that have not brought children and grandchildren in to see loved ones who are ill or dying for the same reasons. That is still a right as a legal guardian. I pray mom heals and the children grow up healthy and strong. Hopefully someday, when the time is right, they can meet there mom.

      July 9, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
    • A

      I've seen many comments on here regarding how "evil" the ex-husband must be for divorcing her. Just food for thought– we don't know the circumstances of the divorce. He may have had to divorce her for financial reasons. The insurance they had as a married couple may not pay for her care, and he may have divorced her so that he has the financial means to take care of the three children for the rest of their lives. Once single, she likely has claim to SS disability insurance, etc that can pay for her medical bills without leaving her family in poverty. This decision is a difficult one to make, it is often recommended to patients so they don't lose everything they have and so their children live in poverty, and those that make the decision often struggle emotionally with it but are acting in the best interests of their children. We don't know the whole story here.

      July 9, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • RMI

      I had an uncle that suffered a horse accident and had severe brain damage; it was so bad that some parts of his brain had to be removed, and he was left with just the primitive section that kept him alive. He had 2 young children when this happened, they were barely 4 and 2 years old. This was a horrible accident that forever changed the lives of him, his wife and children, but you know what happened? My aunt took care of him like a champ, because she loved him! and we all loved him very much! his children loved him perhaps more than any of us, even though they had no memory of him when he was healthy. He wasn't able to talk, or move, no interaction at all, he would just lay there, but the family didn't dispose of him like some disfunctional piece of trash! Family is forever!! and my uncle lived many many years, he was able to see his children grow to be young adults (in their 20s). They were never "scarred" by this, but the contrary, they took care of him, they would help feed him, as my cousin got older he'd help move his dad around, always making sure he looked comfortable. This father should not rob his children from their mother, of the love they have in their hearts for her. Sure, things will be different for them, but that doesn't mean they will be bad. My cousins and aunt always said they were very thankful my uncle survived his accident, even if it meant that they had to care for him so many years, even if he was vegetative, because they were able to know him, and love him, regardless of life's circumstances. People should be humane to all beings, I mean, good God, if we are humane to fish who do not interact with us, why can't this husband do the humane thing for the woman he chose to bear his children?!?! Family is LOVE!!! and LOVE is pure!!! especially mother-children love...

      July 9, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
    • BUNTY

      I agree, I have 2 children & 5 grandchildren. Children are so loving and so forgiving. I myself lost my own mother at age 12. What I wouldn't give to have had her in any state where we could have just "been".
      The father risks a future of misgivings, even hatred from these children when they are old enough to understand and find out what he's done.

      NO ONE CAN REPLACE A MOTHER"S LOVE!!!!!

      July 9, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • SadStory

      I agree with Cricket.....BUT: Everyone has been very hard on the dad. Maybe the reason he does not want the children to see her is it is very upsetting to him. It is very hard seeing someone you care about hurt, much less in the state that she is in. Maybe he is going by his feelings and trying to spare them the hurt he has felt.
      However, I do believe the children should see their mother. It may be the only joy she gets in life. And no matter what shape she is in, she is still their mother. It would be a shame if they grew up and never even got to hold their mothers hand. The way we make it through life is with love. And I am sure a child knows when a mother loves them, even when it is unspoken.

      July 9, 2010 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • D.Z.B.

      I am in the health care profession, and licensed in several states. When I was an adult student, the maintenance engineer at our college had 3 very young children, and his wife had a massive, debilitative stroke. I would see ALL of them together in the grocery store on payday. He would still be in his work clothes, and he would push Mom around the whole store, strapped into her wheelchair with all her pillows, etc. I watched this family grow. ALWAYS this spouse/father kept the family together. Talk about UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, SELF-SACRIFICE, and doing the work of 3 people daily. I want you all to know that through the years these 3 children grew to be the finest, upstanding responsible loving teens. MOM actually made a TON of progress through the years, from a near vegetative state to being able to partake in MANY aspects of her family's life! The father of the triplets in the story is the far worse brain damaged one! It is VERY possible that with the triplets in her life, Mom could heal by leaps and bounds. Those of you who llive in central Ohio that are reading this probably know the "HERO" Dad that I am talking about. I pray that the triplets get to have Mom to love.

      July 9, 2010 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Cricket is right. The children would also have a right to resent and be very angry if deprived of knowing their mother when they are old enough to know what was denied them. .

      July 10, 2010 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
    • Acumen76

      I agree with Cricket. I feel with the warmth, love of her three kids towards her would bring her back to normal soon than otherwise. Miracle's do happen and why not here. God bless her.

      July 10, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse |
    • Allie

      I haven't read through all of the replies but it seems like I am in agreement with just about everyone. The children should be allowed to see their mother. I doubt the ex-husband is heartless. He's probably a decent guy who doesn't know how to deal with a terrible situation appropriately. I'm not sure I would be able to make decisions that would make everyone happy either.

      July 10, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • jules

      cricket is right on the money. couldn't agree with you more.

      July 11, 2010 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • Raj

      Hello All,
      This truly is a very touching and heartbreaking story. There are couple of facts that is has bothered me a lot. first being Abbie was a healthy young woman who loved this man for what he was and underwent the pain and agony of IVF to bear him progeny. Her bad that she had complications and had to take the side of life that no one can ever imagine. Her pain never ended there, it continued to divorce, when she needed her husband the most and the worst her children because of whom she is in a state of life is not allowed to see them and bond with them, I think she has all the rights to meet her children and let the kids know who their mommy is and that she loves them a lot even though she can say it. A lot of people have said that eyes are the best communicators. I think we should all help her in this situation.

      July 12, 2010 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
    • Prashant

      Has it occured to any one that children visiting her can alone have a therapeutic effect ??

      July 16, 2010 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
  2. bobbie R.N.

    Ditto what Cricket said...

    July 8, 2010 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marie

      After watching the video clip posted in the CNN article, it is pretty clear to me that there is still a lot going on in this woman's brain. has anyone tested her with an 'Eye Tracking' computer communication system? This is the type of computer used by Stephen Hawking, who has ALS and is completely 'Locked In', as this woman is. This technology would allow her to type on an on-screen keyboard using either a laser beam that is directed by her eyes, or a mouse that is clicked by her blinks. It would be a sure way to determine how much brain activity there really is. There are several companies that market these devices and the devices can be funded by insurance and other funding sources. Even if there is brain damage, she could still make her wishes known through this communication method. Just to say 'I love you' to her daughters would be a gift this woman.

      July 9, 2010 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
  3. no doubt in my mind

    She gave them life, she lost her health because of them. There is no question in my mind that she has the right to see them. iI you prepare the kids properly, they will be OK. She might die soon and the kids will never see their mother. Don't do THAT to them!

    July 8, 2010 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Anita RN

    I too agree with Cricket. If the children had been exposed to their mother from the beginning, there would be no "recoil" or fear of her condition. My son visited my grandmother from the time he was an infant. She had breast cancer, with metastasis to her bones; her spine collapsed and she was seriously hunchbacked and in constant pain. As a 2 year old, my son used to gently rub her back, which made her feel much better, physically and emotionally. He learned to be compassionate and to accept people as they are, even if they may look different or to others, frightening. Children's perceptions are developed by how the information is presented. Why can't these children be told that their mother wanted them very much and that her problems were from the problems with the process of birth, not the children. I think the father will have more problems when the children are older if they are not allowed to meet their mother now.

    July 8, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kaylan

      I think Anita RN said it very well!

      July 8, 2010 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      I totally agree with Anita. I believe both the mother and the kids will benefit from having them see each other. It may be challenging initially for Kids to understand situation and once they grow up they will appreciate this opportunity.

      July 8, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
  5. AKchic

    I think that we should first find out her life-expectancy. The children should be prepared as best as possible, and yes, I think that they should see their mother, or what is left of her. As they get older, they should know that their mother gave them the best possible gifts in the world, their lives, and ultimately, her own. This will hopefully teach them compassion and humility.

    I understand the father's position. He doesn't want them to be frightened, or later blame themselves for her condition. Unfortunately, they will eventually learn about their mother, and may end up hating their father for denying them access to her, and feel that because he didn't WANT them to feel guilty, that HE blames them for her condition.
    I brought my own children to see my grandfather as he was deteriorating and dying. They learned that life is fragile, and that nobody lives forever. They were 6, 4, and 3. If their father ever was in the same situation, I would make sure we were on the first plane across country to be at his side.

    Besides, there is no substantial proof that she is or isn't communicating through blinks. I would like to err on the side of optimism, even if my logical side says otherwise.

    July 8, 2010 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Victoria

      I agree that they will hate him. This is just too sad.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
    • tammy

      who is mothering the kids? If theywere born with problems would he gave them to the mother's parents? I think he just wants not to be bothered by the invalid.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
  6. Hannah

    Very tough. The woman does have a right to see her children, but I definitely agree that it might not bode well for the children. The dad sounds like a jerk. I wonder why he divorced her? Probably because she can't move anymore. I wonder what her age is, have triplets via IVF isn't natural.

    July 8, 2010 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SJ in California

      I wouldn't judge the father so fast. He was suddenly responsible for infant triplets, and that's a challenge even with a healthy partner. Plus, he had to make heartbreaking, unexpected decisions about his wife's care. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – he's doing the best he can. I'd hate to be in his shoes. And I'm a mother.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
    • mrsmarvel

      According to another article I read about Abbie, the father is suing to gain part of her medical malpractice settlement as child support. You decide whether he's a jerk or not, but in my opinion, he must not have loved Abbie all that much to not only abandon her in her deepest need, but to also try to deprive her of her only means of support/medical care for the rest of her life, AND deny her the love of the children she almost gave her life to birth. Sounds like a real winner, huh.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I'm sorry but I honestly can't give the Dad any benefit of the doubt. I have 3 kids, and no it's not easy even with a healthy wife, but anything like this happened to her I would be devastated she's my best friend and I would owe it to her and my kids to know her what ever state she's in. He is being totally selfish no matter how you cut it.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      That hospital's mistakes are the reason these children don't have a mother to help care for them. I can understand his feelings that some of the malpractice money should go to the children. I can only guess that the birth must have been dangerous for them since the mother was so terribly injured. The children were also in danger.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • Andi

      We live in a society that is quick to blame others for things that just happen when we try and force our body to do things it is not ready to do. Is there definate proof that the doctor made a major mistake? The lawsuits are what is bringing our county down. I feel soo bad for this family (except her ex). I understand her getting care, but he should not get any of it. We will run out of doctors if we don't get a handle on the lawsuits. How many of us make mistakes in our jobs, no matter what they are.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
    • laura

      Lauren, you have no idea what caused her to hemmorhage. It is not neccessarily the fault of the hospital. I had a completely normal pregancy and delivered naturally with no pain medications. I hemmorhaged after delivering because I had an atonic uterus. I thank God that I chose to deliver in the hospital rather than at home, as I had considered doing. My life was saved because I could be provided with the medical attention that was required to keep me from bleeding out. And, let's all be careful about judging the husband. Again, we don't know all of the details. I didnt' like reading that he divorced her either, but it is possible that he divorced her so that he could remarry and provide a mother figure to his children, while still maintaining a connection to his former wife. I work with people with brain injuries, many of whom are in the same situation as Abbie, and I've know of couples that divorced, but the uninjured partner remained very much involved in the care of the injured partner.

      July 9, 2010 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
  7. Mirosalva

    Sometimes something terrible goes wrong during delivery i may not know the stats but she needs to see her children and vise versa:)

    July 8, 2010 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. kam

    Of course she should be able to see her children. She gave birth to them and risked her life for them. The father is being very shallow and selfish. HE does not want to deal with her condition and the guilt that he obviously feels from what happened to her giving birth to HIS children. He is awful! He should have made sure that they had contact with their mother from the beginning. To deny her the children that she literally gave her life for is just sad and cruel.

    July 8, 2010 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Sio

    The children should be allowed to see their mother, I think, for the reasons Anita stated. It would be too easy for them to grow up and resent their father for keeping them away. Like others have said, if it's presented to them correctly, it would be beneficial to the kids, and to their mother. As to her communicating, I don't think she is, based on the video. It just seems like her family are desperately trying to grasp anything that could be taken as remnants of who she was, which is sad in its own right. I feel for this family; no one should have to go through something like this.

    July 8, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. kalli everhart

    I absolutely think she should be allowed to see her children and her children should know what happened and why she is like that!!! The dad seriously needs to think about it, long and hard. How would he feel if it was him that got in accident and someone decided he couldn't see his kids even tho he could communicate with his eyes??? Terrible story, and there is probably no good ending for anyone! But, bottom line is she should get to see her kids whom she pretty much died for. So sad.

    July 8, 2010 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. as a mom

    I can say that no, I would not want them to see me in such a state. Show them videos of me, give them their own pictures of me to keep with them. Show them how I lived life. I, as a parent, would not want them to see me in a condition that they would blame themselves for – be real, they would. You could say they wouldn't but just like every little kid blames themselves for their parents' divorce or makes it their fault that the 18 year old cat died, they will bear guilt. There's no way I could be the cause of that for my children. And for the Grandparents to keep bringing it up to small children... how damaging! To instill guilt of "You want to see your mommy, don't you? Tell your daddy you want to go see your mommy." is beyond cruel!! They know they don't have an everyday mommy like the other kids at preschool and to have people who are supposed to love you and do what's in your best interest to put this before small children is infuriating. Show them pictures. Tell them stories. Over and over and over. But no, it's not time for them to be thrust into something they have no concept of and may just scare them so much they may never want to see her again. "Here's a picture of your mom when she was just your age." "Where is my mommy?" "She's at a hospital that is taking very good care of her and she loves you very much." "Can I see her?" "When you're a bit older we can go for a visit, okay?" "Okay." Done. In the meantime, collect pictures that they make and plaster the hospital room walls with them. Eight to ten years from now when they do go to see her, they will see things that they made and pictures of them (they do show her pictures of her children, right?) everywhere which would make it that much easier of an experience for them. Someday, but not yet.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mrsmarvel

      I may be misremembering this, but I think he told the children she is dead.

      July 8, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      you live in Disney World wake up lady this is the real world everyday people die everyday people miss parts of there body you are not going to be perfect all the time does days are over. life is life and you your husband and children should face it thats how a family stay strong. kid does not know what is wrong with the mother, hello and if so thats there mom period

      July 8, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • Cocoloco

      To: "as a mom", our selfishness and disgust at "abnormal" "handicapped" or "disfigured" people should not interfere with the internal longing to be with our loved ones, and to show them the true nature of "love". The touch of a mother, the look of a child, and things of that nature can do wonders since they were meant to do good to those who practice them and value them. Once again, we adults (once again, pitiful and selfish) get in the way of the innocence and virtues of children in order to please ourselves, not knowing that children who experience even tragedy may understand, and take this life lesson to become better as adults with the proper guidance. The lady is their mom and the children were given to her for a purpose and no adult idiot should separate them.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      So in other words, you'd pretend she's dead when she's really not. Is that truly how you'd want to be treated if you were in her condition? Not me. I'd want to see my kids and let them see me. I'm their mother, I gave them life. I would want it explained to them that it's not their fault, when they get older and care, but at 4 they don't care what she looks like. I wish adults were that way, too, but sadly some of us are too concerned with appearances.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Just for argument's sake, let's turn this around. What if it were one of your children that this happened to. Would you want to deny that they are your child? Would you want to sweep your life clean of their existence, pretend they are dead? I would hope not.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
    • humanity

      as a mom, in 8-10 years, as you suggest, Abby may be dead and her children will have missed their oportunity to meet her. As a young child, I went with my mother to visit my stroked-out grandmother (my father's mother, whom he never once went to visit) and it was a bit scary to go to the nursing home each time but I'm so glad we went because it made my mother and I human. Had we not gone, it would be a mark upon our souls and Abby's children will feel the same way when they grow up. We are measured by how we respond to life in difficult situations, not what we do in good times. Those kids need to meet their mother at least once.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • Marim

      Actually – no – as far as I read on an Orthodox website (matzav something) – and although Abbie's parents have asked the father to send videos of her daughters at the very least....they say that he has not even done that.
      You should read this website – possibly its more of a culture thing – Abbie's parents were the ones that filed the petition for the divorce per the husband's request – AND most of the comments on the site indicate that the "goyishe media" attention does not change the fact that most support is with the father. Huh....

      July 8, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • Asamom2

      Am shocked to read so many diagreeable letters when asamom wrote from her heart. Her letter is thoughtful and my circle of friends here agree with her.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • HS

      I agree with you as well. It's amazing how many people jump on a horrible situation and are like "I would never do that" – what happened here is awful, and I for one, don't condemn the father for wanting to move on with his life. I think he should send the video, but I'm not really sure what will be gained by taking 4 year olds to see someone who cannot communicate, and likely has very little comprehension. Maybe they should see her, but I'm always reminded when I see cases like this "just because you could, does it mean you should?" – I wonder how much of living like this Abbie wants, and how much is her parents.

      July 9, 2010 at 07:11 | Report abuse |
  12. ll

    Both the woman and her children have the right to see each other. I hope the father will change his heart and his mind.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Farrah

    Without question, the children should be able to see their mother. The matter of them blaming themselves for her condition is a sensitive one that will require adult guidance and perhaps professional counseling as they sort through that emotional struggle. I worry more about the anger they will feel someday when they learn they could have seen their mother, their connection to the earth, but someone else made the decision not to allow it.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Debi

    There needs to be more proof beyond her parents stating she is communicating with her eyes to be sure she is "there". I think there is more to the story here, that possibly there is a legal tangle in visiting as in the grandparents (her parents) have likely tried in court to get visitation rights to the children and failed. Cannot be sure but it seems it cannot be as simple as dad does not wants kids to see her now when he allowed them to at age 1. Something likely occurred between her parents and dad with the kids and mom, if she is functioning, being punished for it.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. zoe

    This is a very difficulat situation. I cannot blame the husband for divorcing and abandoning this woman, as I have never been in this situation before, however, her husband seems to be a very weak individual and must not be able to make decisions about whether the children should or should not see the mother. The children should be able to see their mother, period.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Donna from CT

    Such a sad story. So the husband divorced her – "through sickness and in health" – what a guy! The kids should definitely have the chance to see their mother. It's almost cruel to not let them. It sounds like the father is a selfish jerk who is not really looking out for the kids, but for his own needs. Maybe if she dies, he gets some money. She should get to see her kids as it will ruin them when they read about this when they are old enough. Her condition is not their fault, but it seems that the father feels that way. Up until I read what he said, the thought that her kids caused her condition never entered my mind. Mothers would die to ensure their kids were safe even before they are born. I hope the legal system has a heart and lets this poor woman finally meet her kids. I bet she will have a response. It's amazing the power your own kids have when you are sick. God bless her.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrea

      This is not a matter of a woman who is just sick or a husband who is selfish. This boils down to small children. I have a child just their age. I promise I would never want her to see me in that condition until she was old enough to understand what it means. It is so sad to see her parents hanging on and believing that her infrequent blinks add up to communication. I have kept up with this story. It sounds like this poor soul's brain activity is minimal. I think it would make her parents feel better for their grandchildren to see her and that does count for something. But let's not pretend there is a pining mommy in there behind the vacant stare. She appears to be profoundly retarded. At this age, I do not see how the children benefit from sitting in her room, telling her about their day and waiting for her to blink. I feel sorry for their father. He sounds protective. He probably does not want them down there, having Grandma tell them she just said yes, like she did to Gupta. Did you see his face of doubt and uncertainty? Now imagine that on three four-year-olds.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
    • DarleneinPA

      Well said Donna. I have doubts that someone with so little grasp of what marriage vows and family mean is a fit person to be raising children. I have twin great nephews that are four years old. They understand more than ypu think and are adaptive to differences if the situation is handled properly. Abbie gave up the greater portion of her life for her children and she deserves to be able to see them, it actually may be helpful. But most importantlly, who in the HELL died and gave him the right to keep the children from their mother, it certainly wasn't Abbie, she is still alive. If someone kept me from my mother and I found out later, I would be destroyed that someone who is supposed to love me that much would rob me of knowing my mother in whatever capacity possible. I honestly believe they would still feel her love, you always feel your mother's love.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      To andrea
      When does a child need to learn that there is imperfectness in the world? If you wait until they are old, they will see her as only a retarded person. I suppose that a handicapped person should not go out in public, because they might traumatize someone?
      Let's get some reality.

      July 8, 2010 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
  17. Tara Kirkpatrick

    Abbie deserves to see her children and they deserve to see her. I work with children with disabilities and believe all human beings have rights and feelings. Look beyond her disabilities and remember she is the mother of 3 children.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. IndieMXMD

    Actually,if we use the same rule their father is using, i don´t think they should be seeing their father either, a Dad who denies a natural right to their kids, is actually kind of disabled, (which by the way, doesn't disqualify the person to see them).

    Even if we see it in a cold-hearted manner, even then they should see their mom, they shouldn't ´t be treated differently than a kid whose Dad or Grandfather has had a stroke or any other disabling disease

    July 8, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Spencer

    Assuming she is requesting interaction with her kids, on what basis can they deny her access? Did the custody agreement grant the husband full costody? The kids will find out the circumstances sooner or later anyway, why deny the relationship now?

    July 8, 2010 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jim McDonald

    There is no question in my mind, that this mother has earned the right and paid a terrific price for the privilege of seeing her kids and the sooner the better. Kids have tremendous resiliency and no better time for them to see, meet and adjust to their birth mother. Gad! Stop internalizing and do the right thing....now!

    July 8, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Megan

    I think that she should be able to see her kids. She is still their mother and the courts need to see that. Just because she has a brain injury dose not mean that she is not these babies mother.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. anonymous

    As soon as I read this, tears burst out of my eyes. From my view, a mother has every right to see her child and her children have every right to see their mother. I dont think there should be any doubt on this.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. CDT

    She has paid the ultimate price to give these kids a life; she absolutely deserves the joy of at least seeing them. As many of you have said, if prepared appropriately, the kids will be equipped to handle the situation, perhaps even better than some adults (like their father!). Don't deprive them the opportunity to see and be with their mother, and to know the gift she has given them.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jennifer

    No, the children, who do not know her and do not think of her as their mother, should not see her in this state. They should be told of her but any meetings should be when they are older and able to process this terrible situation. Terrible, it truly is.

    I think their father should make videos and recordings and send those to his ex-wife's family. He should send pictures and encourage his old in-laws to visit with the children, but he needs to protect his children.

    Very sad.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim McDonald

      I am so pleased, that you not making decisions for me as designated in a living will

      July 8, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
    • TAMMY

      videos, pictures are you kidding me? how much more heart broken should this woman's family be? she has rights as long as shes breathing and her parents seem capable of caring for those kids while they visit their mother!!!

      July 8, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
    • Andi

      Really? Trade places with her and then see if you really feel the same way. You area aware but cannot communicate and will probably die soon.

      July 8, 2010 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
  25. Laurie A

    I believe the children should see their mother. There is a valuable life lesson here for them: that love is unconditional, that compassion is a necessity in life. They need to see that even though she cannot be a "normal" mommy, that she is a person. It is the responsibility of those around her and the children, should the the children question their role in her condition, to teach them that it is not their fault. It sounds to me as though "dad" can no longer stand to see his exwife in the condition she is in and he is using the children as an excuse.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jen

    I would think it only fair that the children be allowed to at least come occasionally and see her. If they are told the full truth of how she ended up in this sad situation ONLY when they are ready- IE. quite a few years in the future- it should not be damaging to them. Certainly, they will be sad, but I'm sure all concerned are. It feels like the grandparents are behind this, as much as anything, however. Someone above said that perhaps there has been a falling out and the children are not seeing the grandparents, so this is being used to get some visits. If so, it's the saddest thing I can imagine. Why would these grandparents NOT have a right to see their grandkids? And why on EARTH would their father refuse all of them that small comfort?

    July 8, 2010 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. neerGnayR

    "You think she's communicating right now?" Dr. Gupta

    Dr Gupta didn't seem to agree with the family with the tone of his voice.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrea

      Agreed.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Google "facilitated communication".

      It's a terribly sad story, but c'mon doc, put down the woo.

      July 8, 2010 at 20:07 | Report abuse |
  28. Ganga

    Is dad protecting the kids – or himself from some tough questions and explanations? Does it matter whether she can communicate? She is alive, and she is the reason the children are alive. They have a right to see her and know her, and the adults in their life have a duty to make it happen. Life is hard, and a large part of raising kids is teaching them how to deal with the difficult bits. Burying your head in the sand leaves your ass up in the air to be kicked.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Single Mom Trying Hard

    The dad is a self-centered, arrogant jerk who feels as if he's got some superior right to play God with his children's relationship and understanding of their mother. If the tables were turned and his parents were fighting for his rights to see the children, I'm sure he'd insist they fight until they succeed if he could. Those children will have questions as they grow up, and the father should just get over his holier-than-thou ego trip and answer them in honest, age appropriate terms to let them know their mother loved and wanted them before they were born, and if she were able to she would love and care for them now and in the future. I can also bet you that if one of these children needed part of a liver or a kidney in a life or death situation and the mother's was the only match, the father would be fighting to force the harvesting of the organ. I wouldn't cross the street to spit on this guy...his idea of "in sickness and in health" really meant "in health or in health, but screw you if you get sick, I'm outta there." Jerk.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TAMMY

      my thought exactly!

      July 8, 2010 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
  30. Sandy

    You cannot seriously believe that the children will never find out that their mother was injured giving birth to them? What have they been told now about their mother? Sooner or later they will find out – it is much better for them to be told now, in an age-appropriate way, and to see their mother.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Nikki

    Very heart touching situation. I say let her see her kids.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Madeline A

    The triplets already live in a family that has been devastated by this tragedy. Preventing them see their mom doesn't protect them from the issues. I hope the family finds a way to come together to support those kids in understanding who their mom once was and is and how they came into the world. The last thing these kids need is a family fight. Unfortunately none of us can completely control illness and injury. But we can control how we face the challenge with ourselves and each other. I wish them all peace.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Eve

    YES! What could possibly be wrong with them visiting their own Mother. If they're prepared ahead of time in an 'age appropriate' conversation with a child therapist, what harm could it do. My own Mom paseed away a few years ago, but she talked about her own biological Mother her whole life, who died very young when my Mom was only 5. Back then, in 1923, they never told children anything. But that doesn't mean children weren't aware of what was going on. I think it is SO cruel to deprive those chldren of loving their Mother just the way she is.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Laura

    This is really tough. I am a woman that suffered many years of infertility and I also went through several rounds of ivf to have my daughter. And I am like someone else above said, I would not want my daughter to see me like that. I would want her to remember me as healthy and well, not sickly and can not speak. Of course the bad thing is no one that is really involved, (the mother or the children) are really able to make that decision. But in my heart I think this woman that went through so much to give life to these miracle children would not want them to see her like this. That is just my opinion.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stephanie

      I agree. I would not want my children to see me in that condition. We do not know what Abbey's wishes were. She and her husband may have had conversations about this. "if something ever happens to me, I want you to remarry" or "don't let them see me this way" or "please don't ever let them do that to me" "I don't want to live like that" " I wouldn't want my children to see me like that." We do not know if she can communicate, or even if she is aware of her environment. We don't know what was said, and, frankly, it's none of our business. The issue is between the husband and her parents. If they agreed with each other, we would have never heard about this. He is making decisions that are hard to make, and he will have to explain those decisions to his children. He doesn't have to justify his decisions to anybody but himself, and eventually his children. I don't think that getting the media involved and portraying the father as a villian is going to help. The "Oh, wait, I don't agree with his decision, let's call the newspaper and get a reporter out here and put a human right's spin on it" mentality has increased so much it is shameful. I have children, I trust that my husband would honor my wishes, if something were to happen to me. I would rather them remember me the way I was.

      July 9, 2010 at 02:54 | Report abuse |
  35. MY

    I absolutely agree with Cricket. The children has every right to see their mother. To deny them this would be double tragedy.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. GP

    I think the dad does'nt want to deal with anything either from the kids perspective or mom's as he wants a blessed life without issues . He did not see this coming and thus wants to move out of the troubles now by citing the impact the kids would have ( just a hypothesis) .The point of the mom wanting to communicate is not important as nobody can answer that for sure , but to have the kids know that this is their mom and she is the life giver for them needs to done . The argument should be what if Kids love their mom even more for the sacrifice she has done as they get older . Nobody can answer that until they are brought in contact with her and if they feel bad ..then dad has to take the responsibility to fix it not run away and hide all of it that happened but to face it and be bold .

    July 8, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GP

      Also, by denying them a chance now ..they might question later and maybe feel bad and blame the dad later for what he did . S

      July 8, 2010 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  37. Louise

    As an adoptee, my parents never gave me an option to see my biological parents. I'm glad, it would have been very confusing. I remember as a child being taken to a friends house who wanted to show me their sister... who was a bedridden hydrocephalic... I had nightmares for years. I'm afraid these children would be traumatized by seeing their mom like that. Wait until they're old enough to decide for themselves.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Patricia

    As a parent, my instinct here is to ask what's best for the children. Yes, she has a right to see them. But is that what is best for children who are only 4 years old? It's a heartbreaking choice and certainly not an easy one to make. Personally, I think the kids need to be older before they see her.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Sapna

    Mother absolutely should be able to see her children.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Stephanie

    These children need to see and know their mom – children need honesty and truth. Preventing them from having a relationship with her will mess them up a lot more. The father, it seems, just wants to go on with his life and new wife and pretend she doesn't exist – he's not much of a man.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. frankie

    Abbie is alive, and as such has every right to have access to her children. She did not abuse her children and therefore forfeit that right. Rather, she is in this condition as the result of wanting these children and should not be discriminated against because of a physical handicap. Plan and simple, this is discrimination based upon a physical or mental handicap.

    It is the father, to me, that should be called into question for his behavior. He has denied his children their mother and , denied their mother her children. He has done so entirely based upon that discrimination, and he is teaching it to his children.
    He should be ashamed of himself, he does not deserve them.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. tricia

    I think they children should be able to see their mother... Who knows she may be able to respond better when she sees them... Nobody knows for sure that she's not gonna get better... But who's to say that the children will end up blaming themselves... I think the father should be made by the courts to allow the children to visit their mother regardless of her condition... He's a pompus idiot who doesn't deserve her nor those babies.. What happened to their marriage vows " for better or for worse through sickness and in health?" He gave up when the tough got going and never looked back...

    July 8, 2010 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Wonder

    This single dad is caring and supporting 3 children, his wife clearly has medical record after record showing her disability but her parents would not accept it and took her their home in another state from where the father lives, across the country. When the custody issues came up in May dad asked for child support from moms estate, that won 8 million plus in a medical lawsuit, and requested that mom be questioned and taped for the court. Her care, at home and to include 24hr nursing plus alternative therapies cost 33 thousand a month. The fight for visitation is also being paid from the settlement money. I do not dispute mom needs care but it would be nice to hear grandparents set up funds for the children before they started with alternative therapies. He requested a divorce because he wanted to move on with his life, he was told by medical experts there was no hope. It does not sound like dad, the primary caretaker, feels his children can handle this now so when they can they will likely request it. Asking a father to put 3 4yr olds on a plane to fly across the country to see a mom that cannot respond to them seems a bit much. The grandparents will win in the end, 8 million brings you a stack of great lawyers but what will be left for the kids?

    July 8, 2010 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. WA

    I feel the children should be able to see their mom and if she has brain activity she potentially have emotion and understanding. These are her children, she carried them to delivery. The way it sounds is that the kids would not feel guilt but Dad would. I feel for him however he is going about it a little wrong. He has likely not been honest with the kids and the trauma would be to all of a sudden find out your birth mother is alive. He would then be the target of frustration from the kids. Just a theory. I agree Mom should be able to see her children.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Scott

    You're all ignoring one important fact and one that the story itself really doesn't delve into. What level is her brain activity? In watching the video I'm sorry but I didn't see her responding to questions but an automatic body function.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susie

      What difference does that make, Scott. She should have access to her children. Whether or not she can respond, the children have the right to see her and know about her. If they are never given that opportunity, they will resent their father and he may lose them when they get older.

      July 8, 2010 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
  46. sanjosemike

    NOTE TO SANJAY:

    Sanjay, I too am a physician (but retired). As you know, in order to maintain your skills as a neurosurgeon, it takes considerable practice. The hospital committees who over-see your membership will want to know how many hours and patients you see and operate on...in order to continue to allow you permission to operate. I know this because I sat on a number of surgical committees.

    Perhaps you have already "given up" on surgical practice. There's nothing wrong with that. The only thing I hasten to remind you is that "what you give up" may not be so easily returned.

    Some physicians I know who had active surgical practices got somewhat "tired" of it, and modified their practice to see non-surgical patients. Some wanted to return, but after a few years that became impossible. New techniques required additional experience and constant practice.

    Doing a cholecystectomy or bunion surgery or spinal surgery for disc repair is not something you can just avoid doing for 5 years and return tomorrow when you wish.

    We love you on TV. All I ask is that you think seriously about what you are giving up before you do exactly that. You may have the choice today. You may not have it next year.

    sanjosemike

    July 8, 2010 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chach

      what a condecending idiot you sound like.

      July 8, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      chach said: "what a condecending idiot you sound like."

      sanjosemike responds: You just don't get it do you. Sanjay is a fine neurosurgeon. If he is out of practice, than that is one less neurosurgeon to save lives.

      With healthcare reform, neurosurgeons will be paid less and less. What will YOU do when you need one? Or perhaps a member of your family?

      Try to stick with things you know something about..before you accuse me. sanjosemike

      July 8, 2010 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • Marcel

      I understand your point, sanjosemike. Obviously, you love your profession. From the point of society, it's a question of maximal impact. As an excellent communicator reaching millions of people, Dr. Gupta can probably save or extend more lives than by cutting around in some brains. I think the overall impact he has on CNN is far greater and with far-reaching consequences that include greater interest in neuroscience and more funding for research. You'll be aware that 'subtle' changes in health care save millions (always a budgetary question), while billions are spent to save a few airplane passenger's lives.

      July 10, 2010 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      Thanks Marcel for a thoughtful post. Sanjay is a remarkable communicator. The problem is that almost anyone can be a fine TV anchor, but very,very few of us can be a neuorosurgeon. The ones' I've known have extremely high IQs, and remarkable tactile skills. It takes a residency that lasts a "lifetime" to finally qualify. While I'm sure that he will have a good impact on CNN, when you need someone with his skills, they will become increasingly hard to find.

      July 10, 2010 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  47. Indeed

    It has been my experience that children with disabled, even severely disabled family members grow to be very caring, compassionate, self-aware and passionate people. I believe it would not only greatly benefit and comfort a mother, who has gone through an unspeakable tradgedy, to see and interact with her children that she desperately sought; but it could be considered cuel to deprive those same children from knowing truths of life. Their lives and where they came from and who they are. I think it is far more likely that the children would blame their father for cheating them out of a relationship with thier mother, than they would feel guilt for causing her condition. If properly explained, without hesitation or secrets, the children would be given a rare chance to learn about compassion, selflessnss and unconditional love by experiencing a childhood with their mother as part of it.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Frank

    Pull. The. Plug.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Susan

    To keep these children from forming a memory of their mother is cruel. She might not be the same beautiful lady
    she was but she's still "mom" and they should have the opportunity to know her and grow up learning about her and
    how she's being taken care of. Adopted children often seek out natural birthparents because they yearn to see
    their face and how they might resemble them. I have no problem he divorced if she'll never get better. Moving on
    might lead to a relationship with a stepmom that can give them the nuturing they need but the dad should always
    insist they have access to see their natural mother. As they grow up, they would respect him alot more.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sonia

    As a physician and a mom,I strongly feel that the kids as well as the mom have every right to see each other.Not only will it help for some recovery for the mom,if she is truly improving(I have followed this story before) but it will also help the kids to atleast know they have a mom.At the age of 4,children understand a lot and will derive solace from atleast having a mother figure.You can never ever substitute a mom.If the dad wants,this does not have to turn into a "you-did-this-to-your-mom" issue.How cruel it would be to do that to both the mom and the kids!I feel the dad is trying to get out of a lifetime of responsibility here.I understand he feels burdened but he can always have his own life while letting his kids have their mom.This lady's parents are in the medical field and have both medical knowledge and parental love for their child.I feel for them-they are losing out on their grandchildren while taking care of their daughter.I hope the dad sees reason.It is unfair that he has complete responsibility of the kids.

    July 8, 2010 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.