#childabuse | Elgin parents accused of child abuse meet with Texas lawmaker to prevent misdiagnoses

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two Elgin parents, who once faced felony child abuse charges after a doctor’s misdiagnosis, will meet with Texas legislators to discuss law changes to prevent the wrongful separation of children from their parents.

After a KXAN story documenting the family’s medical struggles aired earlier this month, Lorina and Jason Troy began speaking with Texas Congressman James Frank. The parents will meet with Rep. Frank on Wednesday to make plans to testify in front of a committee in charge of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

In 2015, a doctor evaluated the Troys’ infant son after his head continued swelling. The doctor diagnosed the child with shaken baby syndrome, according to the family.

Jason Jonathan Troy would ultimately be diagnosed with Benign External Hydracephalus of Infancy. Doctors initially thought the swelling in his head was due to repeated abuse. (Courtesy: Lorina Troy)

Their two sons were taken from them and placed into foster care. Jason faced two felony charges of child abuse, which carry a sentence between five and 99 years.

In reality, the baby suffered from benign external hydrocephalus, where spinal fluid builds up outside the brain. This type of condition can affect people of all ages and a benign form takes longer to present itself.

With the new diagnosis, discovered years later by a medical professional in Maryland, the charges were dropped and the parents were reunited with their children.

“This is happening often in Texas and nationwide,” Lorina Troy said. “Children are being easily misdiagnosed and wrongfully taken.”

Earlier this month, NBC News and the Houston Chronicle revealed their joint investigation into this very issue. It had to do with pediatricians specialized in knowing the signs of child abuse.

Jason Troy cradles his infant son, Jason Jonathan Troy. Troy faced felony child abuse charges which were later dismissed after his son was properly diagnosed. (Courtesy: Lorina Troy)

They found Texas cases where the legal and medical system sometimes struggled to differentiate between actual child abuse and non-abuse related injures.

Texas Rep. James Frank, who oversees the committee in charge of the Department of Family and Protective Services, called for hearings on that specific issue.

“I’m very concerned with the premature, unnecessary removal of children, and I think it happens a lot more than people in Texas understand,” said Rep. Frank, a Republican from District 69 in Wichita Falls.

Lorina Troy said she was overwhelmed with the positive response her family received after their story aired on KXAN.

“We really appreciate everyone’s responses. A bunch of people were messaging me privately and telling me we have their support and prayers. Everyone was showing so much support,” Lorina Troy said.

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