A 16-year-old teen who is at the center of a custody battle between a Chicago hospital and a Kansas City area mother said he wants to be reunited with his mother.
Michelle Rider shared on YouTube the video of her son. Isaiah Rider says he is miserable in the foster home that he has been placed with and doesn't understand why he gets to see his mother so infrequently.
He said he had no idea that anything was amiss until she was gone.
"One day I woke up and I was surrounded by a bunch of doctors and they told me that I was not allowed to see my mother anymore," Isaiah says in the video. "I was shocked. I was like, 'I'm not allowed to see my Mom anymore? Like she didn't do anything wrong."
Michelle Rider says she is just a worried mother trying to do the best for her son but the Lurie Children's Hospital has accused her of purposefully sickening her son. As a result, the two sides are embroiled in the custody dispute.
Rider is accused of Munchausen by proxy syndrome, a rare form of child abuse in which a caregiver exaggerates or fabricates a child's symptoms in order to get attention and sympathy. In some cases, the loved one may purposefully sicken or injure a child so that they get treatment or be hospitalized.
The teen has been in hospitals in five different states in the past 18 months. His mother says she is just trying to get her son the best possible care and it's not something negative. She said her son's condition and pain and suffering are real and is not her fault.
The hospital and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services declined to comment, citing patient confidentiality.
Isaiah said he is uncomfortable with his foster family and the neighborhood in which he now lives.
"I feel like they took me away from my mom and now I'm living here in foster care with some person I barely know," he said. "I'm afraid I'm going to get shot."
He also said they take his phone away so he can't talk to his mother.
Michelle Rider was back in court on Tuesday for the custody battle. It wasn't clear whether the judge discussed the video that her son made.
The hearing was continued until July 2.
And the teen hopes the judge lets him return home.
"I have (a job). A girlfriend. Everything is back home in Kansas City and that's all I want is to go back home to Kansas City," he concludes in the video.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-07-30 11:45:17 GMT
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