BREAKING NEWS : 2 Huntertown men identified in Dupont Road fatal crash Full Story

Gupta: Kids develop toxic stress without parents

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta says the separation of children from their parents can have lasting health effects on kids, such as increased risk of heart disease, drug use and alcohol abuse.

Posted: Jun 21, 2018 11:08 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2018 11:10 PM

Dr. Tara Neubrand often treats children with a history of trauma.

As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, she has seen young children recovering from life-threatening injuries and histories of abuse.

Yet in the past several weeks, when three toddlers were brought to Neubrand on separate occasions for medical care, they each were unlike any case she had ever seen, she said.

The children, ages 1 and 2, recently had been separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border and were placed in the care of foster families.

Neubrand treated the children at a hospital where she works in Colorado, hundreds of miles from the border.

"All the foster families told me the kids had been with them two weeks or less, and the reasons they brought them in were all pretty mild illnesses," such as rashes or upper respiratory infections, Neubrand said Wednesday.

However, "if their behavior hadn't been so abnormal and I hadn't started asking questions about their background, I may not have known anything about their back story," she said of the children.

"They were the opposite of stable. Emotionally stable kids don't act the way these kids were acting," she said.

Foster mom: 'I'm just trying to not ruin his life'

The three toddlers -- two from Guatemala and one from Honduras -- left such a lasting impression on Neubrand that she wrote about them in a Facebook post on Monday, which garnered more than 5,000 reactions and more than 6,500 shares.

She wrote about how the children clung to their foster parents and did not try to explore the world around them, as many wide-eyed toddlers tend to do. The children also never spoke to or communicated with Neubrand, a fluent Spanish speaker. That's not unusual, she said. What was disconcerting was their physical behavior.

They "could not be put down by their foster parents at all. Not just in the ER but also at home," she said. "They were clearly trying to find literally anyone to hold on to."

One child, a little girl, would latch her tiny fingers onto her foster mother so tightly that it was difficult for the woman to put the child down, even for a bath, Neubrand said.

"She was asking if I had any suggestions about better ways to bathe her. She was sponge-bathing her. She was doing the best she could do. It was just so heartbreaking that was going on," Neubrand said.

Another child, a little boy, constantly cried out for his father, Neubrand said.

"One of the moms told me that the little one, all day long, would just yell 'Papi, Papi, Papi.' She would try to tell him 'It's OK, it's OK, it's OK.' He just kept calling out," Neubrand said.

"She just kept saying to me, 'I'm just trying to not ruin his life. I'm just trying to not ruin his life.' She was clearly doing her best, but this kid wanted his dad."

None of the three foster families spoke any Spanish, and they were unable to communicate with the toddlers, Neubrand said.

'From a medical standpoint, it was not safe'

Other than where the children were from and knowing that the parents were in custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Neubrand and the foster parents were not given much information about the children, and they had no medical history information.

"From a medical standpoint, it was not safe," Neubrand said.

On Wednesday, the American Medical Association sent a public letter to the Trump administration, urging the federal government to withdraw its "zero tolerance" policy on separating migrating families from their parents and caregivers.

"The Administration's 'zero tolerance' policy was a topic recently discussed at the AMA's Annual Meeting, which includes delegates representing over 170 state and national specialty medical societies," Dr. James Madara, CEO and executive vice president of the association, wrote.

"During this meeting we heard from delegates that the Administration's policy will do great harm to children and their parents or caregivers, who felt compelled to make a dangerous and uncertain journey because of safety concerns in their own countries," he wrote.

On Thursday, US Customs and Border Protection announced a new practice aimed at keeping apprehended families together after President Donald Trump's executive order, which the White House said would keep families together who cross into the US illegally.

The new practice, however, does not address what happens to children who were separated from their parents over the past two months and who are probably now in the custody of a different government agency.

There are about 2,300 migrant children separated from their parents.

"Separating kids from families with whom they are bonded is very clearly traumatic and very clearly harmful for children," Neubrand said.

She has not received word regarding the current condition of the children she treated or whether the children might be reunited soon with their families.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 149166

Reported Deaths: 3960
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24564781
Lake13079350
St. Joseph8788157
Elkhart8371132
Allen7815221
Hamilton5923113
Vanderburgh553050
Tippecanoe350914
Monroe319438
Hendricks3140130
Johnson2972127
Porter293248
Clark282157
Delaware279674
Vigo248837
Madison226991
Cass221020
LaPorte213057
Warrick186563
Kosciusko173121
Floyd172766
Howard157466
Bartholomew138657
Dubois133724
Marshall130626
Henry121828
Boone118648
Grant118039
Wayne117123
Hancock114144
Noble111333
Jackson107412
Morgan91540
Dearborn90328
Daviess83732
Gibson82611
Clinton81316
Shelby78329
Lawrence77832
LaGrange76615
Harrison73324
Knox69610
Putnam69515
DeKalb68611
Posey6745
Steuben5888
Miami5765
Fayette57515
Montgomery56422
White56215
Jasper5464
Greene51237
Scott50613
Decatur49439
Adams4645
Whitley4316
Clay4276
Sullivan42412
Ripley4178
Wells4125
Orange38624
Wabash3859
Starke3847
Huntington3695
Spencer3686
Franklin36325
Jennings35913
Washington3512
Randolph3378
Fulton3292
Jefferson3285
Pike31612
Carroll30813
Perry28914
Jay2816
Fountain2743
Tipton26623
Parke2182
Newton21111
Vermillion2111
Rush2034
Owen1991
Martin1950
Blackford1903
Crawford1481
Pulaski1431
Brown1283
Ohio1187
Benton1070
Union1020
Switzerland840
Warren731
Unassigned0233

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 183624

Reported Deaths: 5075
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin30777635
Cuyahoga19345674
Hamilton16016338
Montgomery10000185
Lucas8123370
Butler7914123
Summit6476260
Warren398160
Stark3632178
Mahoning3605283
Marion333049
Pickaway295846
Delaware278427
Lorain265489
Fairfield256156
Licking244965
Wood242981
Clark237954
Clermont230237
Trumbull2208134
Greene214040
Columbiana209687
Allen201373
Miami192756
Lake186957
Medina177742
Portage154667
Mercer144927
Ross132833
Wayne129668
Richland127524
Tuscarawas119022
Athens11572
Erie113453
Darke109950
Madison102314
Hancock99521
Auglaize93616
Putnam89227
Lawrence89025
Shelby85714
Muskingum8284
Geauga82550
Scioto7919
Belmont77127
Union7263
Ashtabula71448
Huron6989
Sandusky69122
Preble58817
Seneca58214
Ottawa56030
Holmes55010
Fulton4896
Henry44917
Jefferson4474
Defiance44213
Fayette4288
Clinton42613
Jackson4257
Crawford4178
Logan3983
Champaign3793
Highland3774
Ashland3715
Brown3603
Knox35615
Perry35111
Washington33023
Morrow3252
Hardin31413
Williams3144
Coshocton29512
Pike2820
Guernsey2808
Wyandot28013
Gallia27413
Van Wert2213
Meigs20712
Adams1956
Hocking1899
Paulding1871
Carroll1867
Monroe14318
Noble1160
Vinton883
Harrison763
Morgan710
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 50°
Angola
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntington
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
Van Wert
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
Morning Rain Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events